Arthur Sarnow

Class of 1971

Arthur’s sweet life began in 1920 in Cranberry, NJ, where his parents ran a boarding house and farm. He was 13 when he borrowed $10 from his father to start a candy business. Rising early each morning, he walked to town to buy boxes of candy and then returned to his makeshift store in the family’s barn where he unwrapped the candy and sold it by the piece.

When his family moved to Brooklyn, NY, Arthur became a “candy butcher,” hawking his wares in burlesque and vaudeville houses, movie theaters and on excursion steamboats. When talking movies spelled the end of both vaudeville and the candy butcher, Arthur turned to vending machines. He installed the first vending machines in a movie theater, beginning with the Classic Theatre in Brooklyn, NY.

By 1941, Arthur had machines in 25 theaters. Arthur soon branched into the wholesale candy business, selling to candy stores, venders and Shubert theaters on Broadway as well as Fox, Century, Loew’s and the RKO Radio City Music Hall. He served 250 theatres,150 vending firms and 150 stores.

In 1970, Arthur was named Man of the Year by the New York Candy Club and was also named National Candy Man of the Year by the National Confectionery Salesmen’s Association. In 1971, he and Robert J. Pearsall, Sr. co-founded the Candy Hall of Fame.

Arthur was married to Pearl, and the couple had three children – Joel, Melvyn and Constance. At the time of his death in 1989, he was grandfather to six and great grandfather to nine.