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The Purity - 1914

At the turn of the century, there were four candy manufacturers in Sidney, Ohio. The Purity Candy Kitchen had its retail store in the building at the corner of Ohio and Poplar Streets. Purity was founded in 1914 by Evans Johnson who built a factory in the rear of his own residence on West Ohio Avenue to produce Purity candies.

It was the local ice cream parlor and hangout for young and old folks for decades. Johnny Kookootsedes started working there in 1919, and became sole owner in 1949.  Below is an interior view at The Purity.

purityinterior.gif (135900 bytes)

 

Born in a Greek village, Johnny had traveled to the U.S. at the age of 22. He was known by all as the man behind the soda fountain who wore a crisp white shirt and a black bow tie. Well-liked, he was also a disciplinarian who expected young people to act like ‘ladies and gentlemen.’ While working in the basement, he could hear everything that happened upstairs, and if Johnny heard something he didn’t like, the offending young person was promptly escorted outside.

Johnny was famous for his homemade candies, ice cream, ham salad sandwiches, and the Boston nut sundae. The ‘secret’ ingredient which gave it the inimitable taste was ‘nougat’ cream. Kookootsedes reported that "we made millions of ice cream sodas."

This is a three-story building that was constructed in the 1850s. The upper level windows have plain stone lintels and sills with tie rods dividing the second and third floors. The store front level has been severely altered.

Sidney was not the only home of The Purity. Kookootsedes and his cousin also owned shops in Ada, Oxford, and Oberlin. The business moved from this site to the Ohio Building in 1962. The confectionery closed its doors for good in 1967.

 

'Downtown' segment written in October, 1998 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge 

 

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