Overlooking I-270 West in Hilliard, the massive Anthony-Thomas building serves as a constant reminder to all of the potential power of the sweet tooth. For, as this family business has illustrated, the love of the masses for confections rivals any other love to which they so openly admit.
Joe Zanetos, President of Anthony-Thomas, joined the family business in 1966, just a little more than a decade after his father, Thomas, and grandfather, Anthony, joined sugary forces to create the namesake business to answer Central Ohio’s growing demand for their addictive treats. “My grandfather immigrated from Greece back in the early 1900s. Back then, the choices were either to work in a coalmine or on a railroad, and he wasn’t interested in doing either,” explains Joe. “So he learned to make candy from a friend, and in 1926, he opened up his own shop.”
Though making candy seems like a sweet deal, it still demands much work. When Joe first joined the family business, he was one of only seven workers. And, as any true family business would have it, Joe began all the way at the bottom, mopping floors, cleaning pans and moving dozens of 100-pound bags of product.
Since Joe became president in 1993, Anthony-Thomas is now sold in over 500 Hallmark stores around the country. “Today, we employ 125 factory workers,” says Joe. “And, though we don’t share our numbers (profits), I can tell you this. We produce approximately 10 million pounds of chocolate per year, and about 50,000 pounds of candy per day.”
To allow the public a chance to experience this true chocolate factory, and to maintain an executive view of their operation, Anthony-Thomas designed their building with a suspended wrap-around catwalk. Stop in Tuesdays or Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for open tours. For more information, go to www.anthony-thomas.com.