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Entries : Tootsie Roll Industries Inc.
Tootsie Roll Industries Inc.

Tootsie Roll Industries Inc.

The first “Tootsie Roll” candies were made in New York City during the early 1890s by Austrian immigrant Leo Hirschfeld. In 1922, Hirschfeld's company was renamed Sweets Co. of America. When William Rubin bought the company in 1935, it operated a large candy factory in New Jersey. In 1966, Tootsie Roll opened a large factory in the Ford City industrial park in southwest Chicago. Soon, all of the company's operations were centralized in Chicago, where it employed about 900 people by the mid-1970s. By that time, the company was led by Rubin's daughter Ellen Gordon and her husband Melvin Gordon. In 1988, Tootsie Roll bought Charms Co., a maker of lollipops. By 1990, when annual sales were close to $200 million, Tootsie Roll was the nation's leading producer of lollipops. The company continued a pattern of solid growth through the 1990s, with annual sales of $400 million and about 1,700 employees in the Chicago area by the end of the decade, when sales began to flatten. In the early 2000s, the company was still headed by William Rubin's daughter and son-in-law.