Object ID
1995.49.8.D
Object Name
Box, Candy
Object Collection
Gayety's Chocolates (is part of)
Date Created
1990s
Material
Paper
Object Entities
(OWNER), JAMES (owned by)
Poulos, George (is related to)
Chocolates, Gayety's (is related to)
Object Description
1lb boxes from Gayety's Chocolate. The lid is done in a copper color, but the center is layered with gold to be used as a background for the logo. It is about 2X5 and on the top of the gold rectangle there is an image of a large bow with flowers coming from the side of it. The words are in a copper color and read "Gayety's Chocolates" under this, in a much smaller print reads "Net Weight One Pound" The base of the box is white on the outside and a dark purple on the inside. The candy tray is no longer inside, but the cover, which is gold on top and white on the bottom, is it.

On the right width side the ingredients are noted: chocolate, sugar, almonds, pecans, corn syrup, evaporated milk, butter, cream powder, water, pure vanilla. Under this is " Gayety's Cany Company, Inc. 2390-172nd and Torrence Ave. Lansing, Illinois 60438. 708-418-0062"

A card is also left inside. It is white with a copper border and copper writing. The same logo that is on the outside of the box is on top of the card and the wording below reads, "In every box of Gayety'a hand-dipped chocolates, you'll find a delectable assortment of the freshest, mouth-watering chocolates available. For over 81 years, we've taken great pride in using only 100% natural ingredients and no preservatives. Enjoy Gayety's Chocolates? Thank you, Lee and Jim Flessor" One the back on the card it reads, "For a FREE brochure featuring our other specialty chocolates (chocolate footballs, basketballs, soccerballs, and holiday treats), call us at 1-800-491-0755 or visit out website at http://www.gayetys.com; We look forward to hearing from you!"
Origin
The Gayety Story is very similar to many other American success stories of that era. In the early 1900's, James Papageorge (Uncle Jim) left his mother and father in Tripoli Greece and came to America at the ripe old age of 9 to find work and make a life for himself. Armed with a good work ethic and a fierce determination to succeed -- young James Papageorge had no idea that while he was earning his living scooping ice cream for someone else, he was laying the foundation for his destiny – The Founder and “godfather” of Gayety’s Chocolates and Ice Cream in South Chicago, IL.

In 1920, Uncle Jim, now a young man, purchased "Gayety's Chocolates & Ice Cream". Located on Commercial Avenue next to The Gayety Movie Theater in South Chicago, Illinois. It was a popular place for date nights and family outings. Folks remember Uncle Jim (aka. 'JP') always at his post behind the cash register - Stern-faced, always wearing a suit and a tie, and smoking a cigar. Truthfully, he kind of looked like 'Al Capone'. Did you know that a Sundae only cost 50 cents, and 3 pounds of candy could be bought with $1.00.

In 1936, Lee (Father) started his career at the Gayety as an energetic 12 year old eager to follow in his uncle's footsteps. The Gayety has always been Lee's life-long passion. He worked 7 days a week except for the time he served his country in WWII and then again when he left to earn his business degree at DePaul University in Chicago. A good looking young man with arms like Charles Atlas and thick wavy hair like Liberace, the young girls would come just to watch him dig ice cream. Some most likely cried when he met the beautiful Angelene Chiou. Lee knew he found his "Special Angel", and in 1959 Angelene and Lee married and started a family of their own (kids: Jim, Lenore & Liane). The Gayety prospered in its South Chicago location until the Steel Mills closed and Lee followed our customer base to the south suburbs.

Decades later, in 2003, it was Jim's turn. Years of hearing customers reminisce about the old neighborhood made Jim want to re-create that same experience for both our new and our old customers. So he moved the store to its present location in downtown Lansing, IL. Lined with trees decorated with little white lights, flanked by family-owned storefronts, and surrounded by residential neighborhoods and schools, Ridge Road was and is the perfect place for an Ice Cream Parlor / Chocolate Shoppe.
Rights and Reproduction
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Citation
Box, Candy, 1990s, Gayety's Chocolates, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/6566. Accessed 04/17/24.