For 70 years now, New Orleans children have been delighted to find a Merlin's milk chocolate bunny rabbit in their Easter baskets. This year will be no different. Merlin Candies Inc. was founded in 1947 by P.L. Langlois, who named the company for his nephew, Merlin Auzine. Auzine and other family members worked for the company for many years at its factory on Magazine Street. Over the years, the popularity of their chocolate bunnies grew, with the bunnies available in white or milk chocolate, "standing" or "sitting" as vintage grocery store ads from the day describe them. Auzine sold the company in 1984, and new owners kept the chocolate flowing and expanded their sales territory across the country. In 2011, the company was acquired by the well-known R.M. Palmer Company, which keeps Merlin's bunnies on local store shelves even though they no longer are produced locally.