John Vovakes proclaimed his innocence loud and clear in a display ad that ran in the Carlisle Evening Herald.
“I am a law abiding citizen making my money here and spending it here,” the proprietor of the Sugar Bowl Candy Co. wrote. “My business is strictly honest, [a] full value giving concern.”
With Halloween around the corner, this week’s Tour Through Time takes a close look at a candy store that once thrived in downtown Carlisle. An online search on newspapers.com turned up numerous display ads from the 1910's that place this store first at 25 and later 16 W. High St.
On March 9, 1918, The Herald ran an ad that read more like an editorial from a disgruntled Vovakes who had evidently broken an accepted commercial taboo.
“I saw no harm in a dish of ice cream or a soda on a warm Sunday when people are at their leisure,” he wrote. “Restaurants all sell Ice Cream, Chewing Gum, Cigars, that is what my business chiefly consists of. If I committed a misdemeanor, why can they sell?”
Earlier ads were more sweet than sour. Almost eight years prior, on Aug. 3, 1910, the owners used poetry to push the product:
At their store you’ll find a line first-class,
Of Confectionaries and Bon Bons and Soda a large glass,
So for Candies sweet and Sundaes the best,
Call on the Sugar Bowl, they’ll do the rest.
A year later, the marketing ploy was an appeal to young romance:
Young man when you come down street in the evening, don’t forget to bring your sweetheart to The Sugar Bowl Candy Co. Store and treat her to a saucer of our pure ice cream.
Then before you go home to spend a pleasant evening, buy her a box of our pure bon bons or chocolates. She will love you all the more and you’ll enjoy the evening better eating our goody goodies.
Tour Through Time runs every Saturday in The Sentinel print edition. Reporter Joseph Cress will work with staff at the Cumberland County Historical Society each week to offer a look at Cumberland County through the years.
Send any questions, future ideas or tips to Cress at email@example.com.