John J. Anastasi
Class of 2000
John was born in February, 1945, in Peekskill, NY, graduating from Lakeland High School in Mohegan, NY. Married to Michele in 1963, the couple raised two sons, Robert and John, and have two grandchildren, Candice and Barbara
John entered the candy business in 1964, and at age 28 became the youngest vice-president at the Paul Sayres Co. In 1980 he moved to the D. C. Sales Co. where he became a partner in the firm and served as executive vice-president. In 1990, John became a partner, manager and vice-president of the confectionery department at M.W. Houck, Inc. a position he held at the time of his induction into the Candy Hall of Fame.
John credits his father for teaching him anything is possible, and the people he has worked with and learned from, as the largest factors in his success. He particularly credits Earnest Benario for teaching him the administrative side of the business; Joe Cognetti and Ed Berg for teaching him the confectionery business; Paul Pearsall, co-founder of the Candy Hall of Fame, who gave him the opportunity to become a partner at M.W. Houck; and his father-in-law, Paul Jack Aubrey for teaching him patience.
Throughout his career, John has given freely of his time and talents in promoting the brokerage industry. He has served as both president and chairman of NCSA, president of the New York Candy Club and president of the Metropolitan Food Brokers Association. For his long-term civic involvement as a volunteer firefighter, District Fire Commissioner and two-year term as Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for the Chelsea, NJ Fire District, John was made an Honorary Active Life Member of the Chelsea Fire Company, only the second such honor bestowed in the group’s 40-year history.
John advises those entering the fast-paced and quickly changing confectionery business to develop a strong background in technology and be prepared to work hard for the rewards that will come. John was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2000.