Larry Szrama, President of Landies Candies in Buffalo, New York, has been called Buffalo’s own Willy Wonka in response to his 33 years of building a brand of gourmet chocolate and award-winning stuffed pretzels in the Queen City. For Landies Candies, 2018 is turning out to be a year of recognition for his many years of tireless work and commitment to excellent customer service – from the Community Award given by the Sister Johnice, Response to Love Center, being named among the Business First of Buffalo’s fastest growing companies for five years including 2018; as well as, Landies now securing the Buffalo’s Business First winner of the 2018 Family-Run Manufacturing Award – and lastly, Landies Candies has become USDA Certified Organic, and likewise selected to receive the “Outstanding New Organic Processor Award.” These glowing acknowledgments of Landies success as a business have been “ Rewarding, but deeply humbling,” Szrama commented.
Landies Candies is recognized as the 6th fastest growing company in WNY noting their rapid climb from being 34th in the top 50 of growing businesses in 2015, to the 12th in 2016, scaling up to number 6 in 2017 and recognized in 2018.
The frosting on the cake for this year arrived on September 20th, when the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Association presented the 2018 Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Award for outstanding ethics and accountability to Landies Candies Staff and leadership.
“The Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Award is not given, it is earned.” Stated Fred Holender, Chairman, BNBEA Steering Committee, “we salute Landies commitment to the highest of ethical business standards throughout your organization.”
This award acknowledges the guiding principle of Landies Candies, that employees and owners must uphold the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct.
County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw recognized Landies, as well as, Reverend Al and Deb Warner from Set Free Buffalo where on hand, Rev Al remarked: “What an honor for the Szrama family, your dad honored, your Mom honored, The BNBEA Ethics award! Your love for your wife honored, your employees honored. God Honored! A Red letter day! Thank you Bob Szrama for laying the foundation.”
“Landies Candies has been committed to carrying out the mission of manufacturing exceptional tasting, safe, quality chocolates that benefit and bring enjoyment to our retail and vendor partners, our loyal consumers, and our dedicated employees,” stated Larry Szrama. He goes on to say, “I have spent my entire career following my father, Bob Szrama’s footsteps, and I dedicate this business recognition to him.”
Like any good success story, Landies Candies, now a producer and international distributor of fine chocolates, has modest beginnings. In 1965, when Larry was only five years old, he would spend time with his grandparents in their family-owned food shop located in Buffalo’s old Polish community where he would help giving out the penny candy. Larry’s parents, Bob and Lori Szrama expanded the family business until it grew into Bells Markets, during the 1970s and 80s.
Larry and his good friend Andy Gaiek started selling custom chocolates in his family’s supermarkets, and in1985 they incorporated as Landies Candies. Today, Landies is a fully functioning candy manufacturing facility and multi-million dollar business that ships product across the U.S.; and Landies Candies has now evolved into an award-winning chocolatier and private label candy production house. The company is located in the Tri-Main Center, 2495 main Street, suite 350 here in Buffalo.
Landies Candies continues along its path as a rapidly growing nationwide enterprise. New innovative products and significant new agreements have secured year-round manufacturing, along with expanded distribution sites that include Albertson/Safeway, Christmas Tree Shops, Consolidated Service Distributors, Party City, Dash’s Markets, Wegmans Food Markets, Tuesday Morning, Paula Deen Stores, and Trade Winds Distribution. Adding to their innovations are also new products for QVC to promote this holiday season. This increase in trade provides sustained growth and advancement for Landies and enables them to continue building a workforce for local residents. Look for Landies Candies’ prize winning sponge candy to be available beginning in October, a flavorful treat handcrafted using Buffalo’s original sponge candy recipe.