Webster was hooked on Steve Papapanu’s ribbon candy. His chocolate Easter eggs, homemade ice cream, and taffy were popular items too.
From 1908 until 1973, the Papapanu family ran the popular Candy Kitchen in the village of Webster, serving sandwiches, plates, sundaes, and a diverse selection of handmade chocolates and candies.
Steve Papapanu came to the United States from Greece when he was 12 years old, and began running the Candy Kitchen following his military service during World War I. His daughter, Mary grew up in the apartment above the Candy Kitchen and eventually took ownership of the business with her husband Chris Pantas.
Following a devastating fire that closed the Candy Kitchen, the family continued to make specialty candy products from their home and sold them through Utz’s Bakery until about 1979.
Another Greek family with a long history in the candy business continues to make ribbon candy by hand. The Andrianos family runs Hercules Candies in Syracuse, NY and has a number of popular videos online demonstrating how small batch candy is made.
Mary Pantas from a 2019 “History and a Cup”, sharing stories of her family and the family candy business. Mary talks about her dad’s ribbon candy around the 27 minute mark.
The crew at Hercules Candy of Syracuse, NY, making a batch of Chocolate Filled Ribbon Candy.
Hercules Candies of Syracuse, NY: www.herculescandy.com
The Original Candy Kitchen of Williamson, NY: www.originalcandykitchen.com