The Giarraputos are an
Italian family that has
lived and made candy in Denison for a century.
No Giarraputo was listed in
the 1901-1902 City
Directory, but in 1907-1908, Anton Giarraputo was running a
313 West Main and living with his wife Nunzia B. at 523 East Morton
Louis Giarraputo clerked at the store and lived at the same address.
there were eighteen "retail confectioneries" listed in the City
many run by people with Italian names.
By 1917, Louis Giarraputo
and Felix Alfieri ran
the Busy Bee Confectionery (Ice Cream Parlor and Lunch) at 407 West
addition, Tony and Lucas Giarraputo were running Giarraputo Brothers at
West Main. Louis lived at 520 East Main Street; Rosa Giarraputo also
there. Tony and wife Nancy lived at 523 East Main. Lucas had moved west
West Chestnut Street.
527 East Morton Street
Giarraputo House next to Candy Store.
Photo by Brian Christopher Hander, August 2010.
Used by permission
By 1920, Giarraputo Brothers
had become Tony's
Palm Garden, a staple on the Denison scene for many years to come. An
in the 1920 Yellow Jacket (high
school annual, page 63) reads: "Tony’s Palm Garden: People's Popular
Kitchen; Fine Chocolates, Candies, Cream. Quick Light Lunches. Special
Attention Rendered to Parties. Balcony Reserved for Special Occasions.”
Tony's Palm Garden
West Main Street
Courtesy of Tina Bruton DiToma, whose uncle Gene Bruton worked at
"My Uncle used to work with Tony at the Tony's Palm Garden."
That's Tony Giarraputo on the left; person on right is
Note the great light fixtures, and the sign saying "Welcome! Hot
See the plaid bow tie? What year would he have worn that?
Anderson (1904-1975) recalled in his
memoir: "At 309 West Main was a confectionery known as 'Tony’s Palm
Garden.' This was the finest of its kind in the town. If you had a date
with your wife, you had to go to Tony’s."
Sears writes: Lucas Giarraputo's son, Lucas T.
born in Sherman in 1920, but the family lived in Denison for most of
remainder of that decade. Although he worked with his brother in the
business, Lucas Sr. had been trained as a stonemason in his native
1930 he had moved his family to Dallas, where he became a building
became interested in dancing, moved to New York City during World War
went on to a career in show business as a dancer, singer, actor,
and director. In 1948 he changed his name to Jonathan Lucas. In 1955 he
of the directors of the original Mickey Mouse Club in its first season
He died in 1991 at age 70.
more about his career
wrote: I wonder if
there are any of the Giarraputos around who still make candy.
Jo Renee Giarraputo Casarez wrote: I grew up watching
my grandfather, Tony Giarraputo, and
my father, Russell Giarraputo, make the candy. Actually the little
still there! We make the candy as a tradition for Christmas!
block East Morton
It belongs to to the large house to the east of it. This is where the
family used to make their candy canes and other Christmas candy.
The family were big supporters of Raynal Elementary School, which is
across the street. Mrs. Garaputo used to have a candy counter in the
front hall of the large home just east of the candy kitchen. At lunch
students would go to her home, ring the bell, and buy penny candy.
Giarraputo Cockrill and husband James still made candy at Christmastime
few years ago. Don't know if they still do, but I was lucky enough to
wrote: I loved their soft peanut brittle. I think it was Uncle Tony who
it when I was a kid.
wrote: I remember those peanut patties! They cost a nickel,
didn't they? The candy shop was operated by Anthony and Nancy
Giarraputo out of
their home at 525 East Morton. Their son, Anthony Jr., lived next door
with wife Margie and daughter Sharon Kay. Sharon was my first-grade
in Mrs. Fisher's room. Because her grandparents operated the candy shop
the street, our class got complimentary confections on at least one
that year. If a time warp should ever drop me back into 1957 or 1958,
little candy shop will be high on my list of places to visit.
wrote: They used to give all the students from Raynal
candy canes for Christmas
wrote: Oh, I
remember the candy store across from Raynal. I went there every day
walked home for lunch and ate and got a nickel and went to the candy
wrote: That candy
shop was located in the front room of the house. The peanut patties
best thing in the world. I heard many years ago that they sold the
the Lance Company when they quit making and selling candy at their
still think that is my all-time favorite candy and will pick up a piece
Cracker Barrel every time I see it.
wrote: I would buy the
penny strips with candy dots.
Hardy wrote : What relation to
Steve Giarraputo? He worked for Denison Drug at one time. He was so
could sure make a good milkshake.