These wonderful signs appeared on melbourne_ghostsigns (Instagram) with a lovely background story.
Eaglemont Village, a little blip on the old Melbourne map, has somehow swirled into a frenzy of fancy cafes and upscale boutiques. It’s like watching a quiet old man suddenly decide to don a neon suit and start breakdancing. Tucked away within the suburb of Heidelberg*, this sliver of civilization burst into life in the 1930s.
Behold the building, its facade flaunting the faded finery of Cadbury’s Energy Chocolate and Nestlé’s Milk and Hazelnut delights. This spot, for decades home to J. B. Speed’s confectionery, was where the locals came to get their sugar fix. Cadbury’s Energy Chocolate had hit the streets running in the 30s, fueled by the finest blend of dark and milk chocolate with a hint of malt – a concoction so revolutionary it could’ve powered a small city.
Cadbury, that behemoth of cocoa beans, had its humble beginnings in England, 1830, before hopping over the seas post-First World War. They set up a chocolate factory in Claremont, Tasmania, becoming the Willy Wonka of the Antipodes. Their chocolates were the showstoppers at every fair, every parade, like the high-kicking chorus line of the confectionery world.
Cadbury’s Energy Chocolate was the Holy Grail of snacks down under, advertised by famous cyclists and tennis players as a speed boost for anyone needing a little pep in their step. It was the talk of every town, with grocers, sweet shops and eventually even the emerging milk bars clamouring to get a piece of the action.
And let’s not gloss over this — that exquisite signage you’re staring at was probably the handiwork of Lewis & Skinner, the advertising Michelangelos of their day, swinging from ladders with brushes in hand, who painted hundreds of these Cadbury signs across the storefronts of Melbourne.
For over half a century, this spot was a temple of temptation, and miraculously, these signs have stood the test of time. They are a sweet, sweet reminder of the days when the arrival of titans like Cadbury and Nestlé on Australian shores was a bigger deal than hitting all green lights while driving down Hoddle Street.
Some may argue the Cadbury sign is not technically a ghost sign, the Nestlé’s sign is.
* Eaglemont Village is a suburb not part of Heidelberg