IN THE NEWS - 1904 - The Greek Confectioners Chicago the Mecca of the Candy Business

Greek Star -- April 01, 1904
The Greek Confectioners Chicago the Mecca of the Candy Business

p. 2- Practically every busy corner in Chicago is occupied by a Greek candy store. Their perfect cleanliness and their elaborate method of making pure and delicious candies have made the Greeks the predominant factor in that line of business.
An impartial investigation reveals the indisputable fact that the Greeks are the fathers of the present candy industry.
What kind of candy store did we have here before the Greeks began to monopolize the trade? Where was candy sold, and what kind of candy? Old-timers know and remember where it was sold, and what kind of candy it was before the Greeks developed and expanded the manufacture and sale of confectionery.
The Greek confectioners are Chicago's pride, and Chicago is the pride of two thirds of the country. Chicago, not New York, has the credit of being the city of candy-makers. Seventy per cent of the Greek candy-merchants in America were originally citizens of Chicago. After they had learned the trade of fellow-Greeks for whom they worked and by saving had accumulated enough capital, they bade Chicago farewell and scattered to the four corners of this great country.
Each and every one of them, with Chicago money and Chicago training in the art of candy-making, found the city which suited him, and a new and up-to-date store in the Chicago style sprang up at the busy corner of that city. Now the rest of the story is easy. More Greeks came along and learned the trade, and the whole country is sweetened by the exquisite art of the Greek confectioner.
Inevitably Chicago became the center of supply for all these new stores all over the western and southern states. New industries sprang up here to supply the candy-makers' demands as they accelerated the development of the confectioner's business. Chicago firms have hundreds of traveling salesmen to supply these Greek confectioneries with the needs of the trade. This kind of business and such an activity did not exist before the Greeks tempted and sweetened the tooth of the country.
One of the wholesale dealers in Chicago, Mr. Christ Vlachandreas, of North Dearborn Street, who deals in extracts, travels far and wide, and because of his Greek shrewdness and by impersonating a Frenchman in talk, action, etc., he has discovered the real feelings of people in general toward the Greeks. In every state where he travels he cunningly directs his conversation toward the Greek confectioners and the Greeks in general. His ears are tickled with eulogies of the Greeks; he learns that they are clean, industrious, peaceable, law-abiding, honest people. The above qualities are all correctly and rightfully attributed to the Greeks. A big merchant in a western state told Mr. Vlachandreas that the Greeks in his town are the best specimens of human beings with some exceptions; that is, "they love wine, women, and cards." Of course we as Greeks know the wise saying of our ancestors, "nothing to excess," and accordingly we should govern and moderate our desires and our predilections.
And in order to maintain this good name which we enjoy everywhere, we must keep on endeavoring to surpass our record, rising from better to best and up to higher levels.
Well, are we going to shine only in one trade or line of business? Could Greeks tackle anything else and leave it undeveloped? Of course not! Let us make another record in some other line of business as yet undeveloped. The restaurant business in Chicago and elsewhere is growing very rapidly, and it will not be long before the Greeks will claim a monopoly on the heretofore undeveloped business of catering.