Woodhaven assemblywoman inducts Schmidt’s Candy shop into NYS Historic Business Preservation Registry

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Community leaders and officials celebrate the induction of Schmidt’s Candy, a 97-year-old confectionary in Woodhaven, into the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry, on Monday, Dec. 5. (Photo courtesy of Rajkumar’s office)

State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar joined community leaders and officials on Monday, Dec. 5 to celebrate the induction of Schmidt’s Candy, a 97-year-old confectionary in Woodhaven, into the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry. 

An induction ceremony was held inside of Schmidt’s Candy, located at 94-15 Jamaica Ave. Guests included Tom Grech, president of Queens Chamber of Commerce; Tynisha Sykes, city Department of Small Business Services; Rob MacKay, director of Queens Economic Development Corp. Public Relations; Sherry Algredo, chair of CB 9; Vance Barbour of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association; Queens Together founder Jonathan Forgash; a representative from Councilwoman Joann Ariola’s office; and numerous members of the community.

Schmidt’s Candy’s inclusion in the registry will provide the business with educational and promotional support from New York state.

The beloved neighborhood staple has served the finest chocolates since 1925, when Margie Schmidt’s grandfather, Frank Schmidt, founded the confectionery. Today, Schmidt handcrafts the candies herself in-house, using many of her grandfather’s original recipes, and works as much as 16 hours per day during the holiday season. The shop is a beloved institution in south Queens, where many residents have enjoyed Schmidt’s chocolates since childhood.

“When my grandfather founded Schmidt’s Candy 97 years ago, he would have never imagined that the confectionery would literally make the history book,” Schmidt said. “Thank you to Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar for being the one who made this happen and for her tenacious advocacy for our neighborhood’s small businesses and its people. She is also the only person I know who works more hours than I do, and I will always be grateful for her work.”

Rajkumar said she brought the state recognition and support from citywide stakeholders to Schmidt’s Candy because Schmidt “has more than earned this recognition from her family’s decades of contributions to the community.” 

The confectionery exemplifies how Woodhaven is home to some of the city’s most historic businesses and hardest-working owners, and I will ensure that they receive the support they deserve. This holiday season, Schmidt’s Candy will again be packed as people from across the state enjoy these sweet chocolates,” Rajkumar said. 

Kevin Kim, the commissioner of the city Department of Small Business Services, said small businesses like Schmidt’s Candy make NYC unique. 

Congratulations to Margie Schmidt on the well-deserved induction into the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry. Here’s to another 97 years!” Kim said. 

According to Forgash, Schmidt is not only recognized for its history but its cultural significance in Woodhaven. 

“Queens is filled with living cultural and culinary monuments, such as Schmidt’s, that represent where we are from,” Forgash said. “The rich diversity of Queens is showcased in our restaurants and small businesses. Congratulations to Margie Schmidt for her much-deserved honor, and thank you to Assemblywoman Rajkumar for making it possible.”

For MacKay, Schmidt is more than a chocolate shop. It’s part of the community, he said. 

“Margie is always taking part in all the events and festivals in Woodhaven. She earned this place in the registry with her work in the shop and in the community, and Assemblywoman Rajkumar saw to it that Margie would have her moment in the sun,” MacKay said. 

Vance Barbour of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, whose grandmother worked for Schmidt’s Candy, referred to Margie as a “pillar of the community.”

She was one of the first inductees into the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association Hall of Fame. My neighbor Assemblywoman Rajkumar has now taken that recognition to new heights by adding Schmidt’s Candy to the state historic registry,” Barbour said. “She is making sure Woodhaven gets its rightful place in the history books. I still remember when the Assemblywoman passed the resolution this year honoring Woodhaven’s birthday. I thank her for her dedication to promoting our neighborhood’s history and businesses.” 

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. congratulated the Schmidt family on the historic occasion, wishing them luck going forward for another 97 years. 

Ariola said she was happily celebrating 97 years of Schmidt’s Candy’s sweet success. 

“They have been able to withstand many of the obstacles that mom-and-pop shops face and people from all over Queens travel to Jamaica Avenue to visit this store,” Ariola said.