Attendees enjoy ‘sweet’ American Candy reunionPublished 11:27pm Monday, September 16, 2013
By Jay Sowers
The Selma Times-Journal
The sweet stories of an old Selma staple were swapped at a local restaurant earlier this month.
Former employees of the American Candy Company held a reunion on Saturday, Sept. 7 and Charles Pollock, who worked as the Director of Purchasing at the facility for 19 years, said he still considers himself lucky to have worked with the people he did.
“It was the kind of job where I looked forward to go to work everyday,” Pollock said. “It really was the sweetest place to work.”
Pollock said the kindness he became so used to while working there hasn’t faded in his former coworkers.
“My wife recently passed away, and a lot of the people at the reunion were very kind in sharing their memories of her,” Pollock said.
Richard Gibian, who worked at American Candy for 47 year and was the company’s president for more than 30 years, agreed the people he worked with are what made his time there so enjoyable.
“I don’t think I could have found a better bunch of people to work with over the years,” Gibian said. “I mean everyone, from the janitor on up. It was great to see everyone again.”
Pollock said it was nice to catch up with people he had not seen since he retired from the company and to learn about them and their families.
Gibian said American Candy set itself apart by putting it’s employees first, something he said was greatly appreciated by those working there.
“I think most of the people that worked there were happy and that is something I’m really proud of,” Gibian said.
Founded in 1899, American Candy would become known worldwide for their production of the large Disney-themed lollipops that could be bought at amusement parks and Disney vendors across the country.
To keep up with the high demand, Gibian said the company ran 13 production lines at their Selma facility in order to produce candy at their maximum capacity — some 10,000 pounds of candy every hour.
“That’s a lot of candy,” Gibian said. “So, yes, it got pretty hot in the kitchen.”