Daniel R. Gillette
Class of 1972
Daniel was born in 1912, the son of Daniel Wilkinson Gillette, a New York City candy broker. Nicknamed “Bubbles” while still a baby, the name would stay with him for life. Daniel was first exposed to the candy business as a child when he accompanied his father on sales calls.
In his early teens, Daniel began covering the New York City trade by himself. In 1927, Bubbles was hired by George Close, owner of the Close Candy Co. to represent the company’s line.
Daniel graduated from Lincoln High School in Jersey City, NJ, in 1929 and entered Brown University. During summers, he worked for the American Chicle Co. traveling by train from New Jersey to Michigan to call on retail accounts. Following his sophomore year, Daniel chose to delay his education and returned to work, selling candy for a brokerage owned by his uncle, Rufus W. Gillette. Shortly after, he formed his own brokerage, Dan Gillette Candy, covering Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
At the outbreak of World War II, Daniel entered the U.S. Army Air Corp and was honorably discharged in 1946 following service in the Philippines and Japan. He returned to the candy business, representing such companies as Fair Play, Just Born, Inc. Jaret, Royal, W&F, and Allen & Smith. In 1947, he married Florence Catherine Sweitzer. The couple raised two children, Nancy and Daniel “Tiny Bubbles” Gillette.
A co-founder of the Pittsburgh Candy Club in 1931 and a director of the Ohio Buckeye Candy Club, Daniel was named Candy Ambassador by the National Candy Wholesalers’ Association in 1961. He joined NCSA in 1937, serving as co-chair of the 1951/1952 convention and as president in 1964/1965.
In 1979, “Tiny Bubbles” Gillette joined his father’s brokerage business and the company was renamed Dan Gillette & Associates. Daniel “Bubbles” Gillette retired from the brokerage business in 1990 at the age of 78.
In the Spring of 2003, at the age of 91, Daniel R. “Bubbles” Gillette returned to the NCSA podium to induct his son into the Candy Hall of Fame. Daniel passed away in 2004.