The history of Goumas Candyland begins in 1911, when George Stamas, a Greek immigrant, founded The Busy Bee, located in the Arcade on the square in downtown Newark. The Busy Bee was a restaurant with a sweet side that included grilled chocolate sandwiches and of course, candy. The restaurant weathered the Great Depression, closing for a brief time but reopening.
In the early 1950s, Stamas decided to close the Busy Bee and focus solely on candy-making. Bessie Stamas, George's daughter, had married Augustus "Gus" George Goumas on May 23, 1948. Goumas followed in the steps of his father-in-law and eventually took over the business for himself, renaming it Goumas Candyland.
In 1985, Gus Goumas passed away, leaving Goumas Candyland to Bessie who continued their sweet legacy with the help of their four children: Socrates (Soc), Greg, George and Viann. Goumas Candyland thrived, becoming a staple for many Licking County residents as well as maintaining a busy mail-order business. In 1983, Gus Goumas told a reporter he had orders shipping their delicious confections to Germany, Italy, England, Japan and the West Coast. In the November 20, 1997 edition of The Newark Advocate, an article by Brent Snavely reported that Goumas Candyland was expanding its Heath location by nearly double in order to keep up with the demand for their hand-made candies.
Goumas Candyland remained a constant source of sweetness through the 1990s and early 2000s, opening new storefronts and locations throughout Newark and Granville. However, in 2008, a rift in the family caused Socrates and Greg to split off on their own. In early 2009, they opened Goumas Confections.
The two companies, The Original Goumas Candyland and Goumas Confections, have co-existed for the last decade. Both priding themselves on maintaining the original techniques and processes used by Gus Goumas. Bessie Goumas passed away in early August of 2015, her obituary marked her as "Licking County's finest chocolatier extraordinaire".
- "Our Story, " Goumas Confections, accessed August 1, 2017, http://www.goumasconfections.com/ourstory
- Obituary of Bessie Goumas, The Newark Advocate, August 10, 2015.
- Don Baird. "Candy Business Is Happy Handful," The Columbus Dispatch, March 7, 1983.
- Brent Snavely. "Shop Savors Sweet Taste of Expansion." The Newark Advocate, November 20, 1997.
- Obituary of Bessie Goumas.