It is not known what type of business relationship John Hannon and James Baker had, but they at least worked for each other from time to time. In 1772 Baker ground chocolate for Hannon, and when Hannon moved back to Dorchester he made at least one delivery of chocolate on Baker’s behalf in 1774.
Hannon moved to another of James Boise’s mills in 1775 and took on Nathaniel Blake as an apprentice, after Edward Preston’s mill burned down. It appears that business was going well for Hannon in 1777, based on surviving advertisements from that year.
Tales differ on what happened to John Hannon in 1779. In one version, he sails to the West Indies to buy cacao beans; another story suggests that he took a ship to England to escape his unhappy marriage. In either case, Hannon apparently perished at sea. No one knows what really happened to him, and he was never heard from again in Dorchester.
Hannon’s widow, Elizabeth, attempted to continue her husband’s chocolate trade with Nathaniel Blake, but with no success. Some accounts claim that Elizabeth’s difficult disposition drove away Blake, just as it drove Hannon from his home. Blake made chocolate with James Baker in Daniel Vose’s paper mill until 1780, when Baker bought out John Hannon’s widow, took over full ownership of the business, and produced the first known chocolate branded as “Baker’s.”