WhenCandy Industry'sfounder and publisher, Don Gussow, established the Kettle Award in 1946, he did so not knowing who the first recipient would be. 

Russell Stover was the first

WhenCandy Industry’sfounder and publisher, Don Gussow, established the Kettle Award in 1946, he did so not knowing who the  first recipient would be. As he explained to readers then, the Kettle Award was meant as  “recognition of the contribution for ‘great or good’ of the industry, not only on the part of the person selected for the distinction, but of every member of the confectionery field who has devoted himself in whatever measure to make the business of candy making and selling a more profitable and happier one.”

Cognizant that the supplier community is intimately involved with the confectionery industry, Gussow created the Kettle Committee consisting of representatives from leading suppliers to the industry. The Kettle Committee was charged to first nominate candidates and then, through a balloting process involving readers and culminating with a  final vote from the Committee, select a recipient.

Just to be nominated for the Kettle Award is an honor all to itself. Oftentimes, the actual selection has been an arduous one, with many or all nominees worthy of the recognition. In choosing Russell Stover, president of the Russell Stover Candy Co. in 1946, the Kettle Committee exemplified what the Kettle Award stands for in the industry. 

Since that selection, the Kettle Committee has continued to meet the challenge, choosing the best and brightest amongst scores of nominees, as the accompanying list of winners attests.

During the following pages,Candy Industrygives tribute to those who have earned the industry’s highest honor as well as salutes those who have been nominated for this year’s Kettle Award.

Clips From Past Kettle Awards

The following photo snippets provide just a brief historical montage of the Kettle Awards’ rich history, which goes back to 1946. As much asCandy Industry would have liked to run photos of every Kettle ceremony and recipient, space and occasionally availability to past photos was a factor. We hope to include those missing from this initial Salute to the Kettle supplement in future issues.

Russ Albers, president and coo of Herman Goelitz Candy Co., was the 50th Kettle Award recipient in 1995.

Members of the 1965 Kettle Committee listen intently to American Licorice’s Clarence Kretchmer’s remarks in accepting the Kettle Award, which was held at the Crystal Room at the Sheraton Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. It was the 20th anniversary of the confectionery industry’s most coveted recognition.

Peter Paul’s president Lloyd Elston, recipient of the 1972 Kettle Award, prepares to give his remarks with his wife, Dorothea, next to him.

William Beich, president of Paul F. Beich Co., holds the 1980 Kettle Award standing next to Don Gussow, founder and editor-in-chief of Candy Industry, and his wife, Patricia at the Sky Pavilion Room of the Tavern Club in Chicago.

Clarence Kretchmer (right), president of the American Licorice Co. and recipient of the 1965 Kettle Award, presents Frank V. Brach, president of E.J. Brach & Sons, Co., with the Kettle Award in 1966.

Duane Fox, senior vice president of manufacturing for the Spangler Candy Co., received the award in 1993.

Jack Zachary, president of Zachary Confections, Inc. was the 1996 Kettle Award recipient.

Ellen Gordon, president of the Tootsie Roll Co., became the first female recipient of the Kettle Award in 1985.

Edmond Opler, Sr. of World’s Finest Chocolate displays his 1987 Kettle Award flanked by his wife, Alice.

Back-to-back family winners, Nello Ferrara, 1975, and son, Salvatore Ferrara, 2002, pose proudly with their respective Kettle Awards.

A beaming Carl Goldenberg, president of Goldenberg Candy Co. (now part of Just Born), is surrounded by his wife, Nanci (holding roses) and immediate family after receiving the Kettle Award in 1986.

Richard Palmer Jr., president of R.M. Palmer Co., flashes his well-known smile after becoming the 1991 Kettle Recipient.

The Rowland family surrounds Herm Rowland, chairman of the Goelitz Candy Co., in congratulating him on receiving the 1988 Kettle Award.

Albanese Confectionery Group
2009 Kettle Nominee – Scott Albanese

American  Licorice Co.
1965 Kettle Recipient – Clarence M. Kretchmer

Fannie May Confections Brands
1976 Kettle Recipient – Denton Thorne

Ferrara Pan Candy Co.
1975 Kettle Recipient – Nello Ferrara
2002 Kettle Recipient – Salvatore Ferrara

Getrude Hawk Chocolates
2005 Kettle Recipient – David Hawk

Guittard Chocolate Co.
2008 Kettle Recipient – Gary Guittard

Jelly Belly Candy Co.
1988 Kettle Recipient –  Herman G. Rowland
1995 Kettle Recipient - Russ Albers 
2001 Kettle Recipient - Jim McGovern (Peerless Candy Co.)
2006 Kettle Recipient -  Bill Kelley
2009 Kettle Nominee - Mike Bianco 

Madelaine Chocolate Novelties
2007 Kettle Recipient – Jorge Farber

Pulakos 926 Chocolates
1983 Kettle Recipient – Archilles (Herk) Pulakos

R.M. Palmer Co.
1991 Kettle Recipient – Richard Palmer Jr.

Russell Stover Candies
1946 Kettle Recipient – Russell Stover
1969 Kettle Recipient – John Vassos (Whitman’s Chocolates)
1982 Kettle Recipient – James W. Nixon (Whitman’s Chocolates)
1994 Kettle Recipient – Louis Ward
2006 Kettle Nominee – Thomas Ward

Tootsie Roll Co.
1977 Kettle Recipient – Hy  Becker (Cella’s Confections, Inc.)
1985 Kettle Recipient – Ellen Gordon
2009 Kettle Nominee – Melvin Gordon

Warrell Corp.
2004 Kettle Recipient – Lincoln Warrell

World’s Finest Chocolate, Inc.
1987 Kettle Recipient – Edmond A. Opler, Sr.
2008 Kettle Nominee – Edmond F. Opler