NHM’s candy exhibition highlights contributions of the Greek American community
Princess Candy Store in Bloomington, IL, 1918.
CHICAGO, IL – Discover why Chicago is known as “America’s candy capital” as the traveling exhibit, Sweet Home Chicago, makes a stop at the National Hellenic Museum this summer.
Chicago has been at the forefront of America’s candy scene since the late 1800s when the first wave of Greek immigrants arrived in the Windy City and started opening candy and ice cream shops throughout the city.
In 1906, «The Greek Star,» one of America’s oldest Greek language newspapers, reported there were 925 Greek-owned candy and ice-cream businesses in Chicago.
The exhibit, created by the Elmhurst Historical Museum, takes on a decidedly Greek twist thanks to the National Hellenic Museum’s extensive collection of candy, ice cream, and restaurant artifacts that tell the story of some of Chicago’s most famous Greek-owned establishments and businesses.
Learn the story of Leo Stefanos, who invented Dove ice cream bars to keep his kids from chasing the ice cream truck down the street, and Peter George Poulos, who founded Margie’s Candies after learning the craft of candy making from his grandfather.
Visitors will enjoy a short documentary narrated by Bill Kurtis, interactive displays with nostalgic photos and artifacts, a Candy IQ Quiz, candy wrapping challenge, and many other fun and tasty activities.
The exhibit opened on June 16 and will make sure to come back on July 21 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm for a rooftop celebration with James Manolakos from PanHellenic Pastry Shop. Local candy makers and bakers will offer samples of their sweets and you’ll hear stories about the ways in which candy and ice cream has played a role in your own family traditions.