David E. Babiarz
Class of 2012
David E. Babiarz was born on October 17, 1948, to Emil and Dolores, who also raised Julie.
He married Barbara on November 11, 1973, and together they have three children: Barbara Jane, Jennifer and David Jr.
David attended the University of Illinois before transferring to North Park College. He worked during the day and attended school at night until he earned his B.S. in business in 1972.
In 1963, his father started Dae Julie, which imported and distributed candy from around the world and handled up to 15 percent of all U.S. candy imports, according to industry sources.
The following year, David joined his father at Dae Julie, working in the shipping department. He became Vice-President of Sales in 1970, and was promoted to President of Dae Julie in 1975. Fifteen years later, David helped the company to grow into Candy Land, a gummi manufacturing business that produced 40 million pounds of gummies annually.
David built a 120,000-square-foot plant for Candy Land, in Des Plaines, IL. In 1997 he sold the company, which by then was recognized as one of the largest gummi manufacturers in the country, to Favorite Brands International, Inc.
The following year, David founded Candy Tech, importing and manufacturing candy, including extruded Extreme Sour Belts, which were made in a new 150,000-square-foot factory in Buffalo Grove, IL.
In 2000, the Extreme Sour Belt brand, ingredients, patent, and manufacturing equipment were sold to Van Melle of the Netherlands (which later became Perfetti Van Melle), while Candy Tech continued to import and distribute candy products from around the world.
David then built a 144,000-square-foot plant in 2005 for Candy Tech in Tianjin, China. Though Candy Tech’s U.S. offices have closed, the company continues to manufacture and export gummies and jellies around the world from this location.
Away from the industry, David had a keen interest in aircraft and enjoyed studying military history. He was an avid golfer, a car collector, and an ardent fan of Chicago sports teams, especially the Bears and Blackhawks. David also had a knack for music, and played the piano and trumpet.
A 46-year industry veteran, David passed on September 1, 2010.