The Goumas Candyland legacy stretches back more than 100 years.
It began in 1911 when Greek immigrant George Stamas opened a candy shop in Newark. Through the years, the shop’s name has changed and two additional locations were added, but the hand-dipped chocolates, truffles, toffee and caramels for which Goumas Candyland is known have been made using the same recipes Stamas employed more than a century ago.
Today, Stamas’s daughter, Bessie Stamas Goumas, owns the business and −at 90 years old− still oversees operations and packs boxes during the holidays.
“My uncle and my father are the primary candymakers,” says Keely Goumas Perry, Bessie’s granddaughter. “My mom, my aunt, myself, and my cousins handle everything else.”
Currently, Goumas Candylands can be found in Newark, Granville, and Heath.
“Our family has always lived in the Newark area, so to keep it all in the family we haven’t opened in a more distant location,” Perry says.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, working alongside relatives can be tricky.
“There are many challenges to working with family, but the benefits outweigh the challenges,” she says. “Your family will always understand and be supportive of other obligations in life.”
An online store that ships worldwide is one way Goumas Candyland has adapted to business in the 21st century.
“Our Internet business has grown at a very steady pace over the past several years,” she says. “During the holidays, we certainly add to the United States Postal Service workload. We do ship candy during the summer months, but we have to ship on ice.”
Goumas Candyland has outlasted countless Central Ohio businesses and Perry insists that the company’s consistency −using the finest ingredients to produce top-quality sweets time and again− has been critical to its longevity.
“My grandfather would not have had it any other way,” she says, adding that maintaining the small, family atmosphere customers love, always going the extra mile, and adhering to the philosophy that the customer is always right have also contributed to the company’s success.
To learn more about Goumas Candyland, visit GoumasCandyland.com.