AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
It seems as if Pulakos 926 Chocolates has been producing chocolates in Erie, Pa., for a 100 years. Wait a second ... They have.
This fourth-generation, family-owned business has grown to operate four candy retail stores within a four-mile radius in Erie. In addition, the company added an ice cream line. Even after 100 years, fourth-generation owner and president George A. Pulakos finds ways to keep Pulakos 926 Chocolates vibrant.
"We're always testing out new things," Pulakos says. "For example, the company produces a lot of chocolate-covered pretzels for fundraising. When we're running the pretzels through the machine, we're obviously going to get a lot of broken pretzels. Instead of feeding them to employees, we decided to come up with pretzel clusters. Customers tried them during the Christmas season and loved them. Now, it's one of those things that we have to go out and buy good pretzels and break them up, so we can keep up with demand."
Since 1903, Pulakos has been meeting the demand and desire of Erie's residents, but the company's origins actually have earlier roots. In 1889, the company's founder George P. Pulakos, George A.'s great grandfather, started in the candy business by operating a pushcart in the streets of Philadelphia. George P., an emigre from the Daphini area of Sparta, Greece, decided to head out with his family to Chicago. On his way through the Great Lakes states, he stopped in Erie. George P. thought Erie was a progressive city and a good place to set up shop.
When George P arrived in Erie, one other candy maker already was established in the city. George P. and the other candy company worked out an agreement to stay at least two blocks away from each other. He then opened his first store at 1108 State Street in downtown Erie.
The second generation expanded the company to include a bakery, restaurant and ice cream shop. George P.'s son Constantine "Gus" Pulakos continued in the family line becoming a widely traveled author and established chocolate artist in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. One of his many creations was a decorative chocolate chest filled with candy that he presented to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on his 52nd birthday.
Earlier in his career, …