kettle winner 2012 tony sweet
R. Anthony Sweet, Chairman of the Salt Lake City-based Sweet Candy Co., chats with guests after winning Candy Industry's Kettle Award Wednesday night.

The man who’s lived by the “Golden Rule” personally and professionally, received a payback Wednesday evening, albeit in copper. R. Anthony Sweet, chairman of Salt Lake City-based Sweet Candy Co., became Candy Industry’s 67th annual Kettle Award recipient during a reception held at the exclusive Union League Club of Chicago Wednesday, May 9.

The Club’s main room was filled with more than 250 guests who came to celebrate the four Kettle Award nominees: James Buffardi, cfo of Ferrara Pan Candy Co.; Charles Flavelle, chairman of R.C. Purdy Chocolates Ltd.; Mitchell Goetze, president and ceo of Goetze’s Candy Co.; and “Tony” Sweet, chairman of Sweet Candy Co.

Kettle Committee Chairperson Katherine Clark faced a hushed room when she received the envelope containing the announcement of who will be this year’s Kettle Award recipient. Clark then patiently opened up the envelope before revealing the news. The room burst into applause as she read the words, “And the recipient of this year’s Kettle Award is Tony Sweet of the Sweet Candy Co.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Sweet began his career as a third-generation candy maker at Sweet Candy Co. during his teenage years in the late 1950s. Upon graduating from Stanford University in 1964 with degrees in history and economics, he returned to join the family business shortly thereafter.

After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Sweet started full-time employment as an assistant plant superintendent at Sweet Candy Co. He quickly took on more responsibility, becoming assistant plant manager, production manager, v.p. – manufacturing, and executive v.p.  In 1983, Sweet became president and ceo, taking on chairman duties in 2008 ― a position he holds today.

Under Sweet’s leadership, the 119- year-old candy company grew, despite operating within a mature industry.He revamped the facility’s technology, plant and equipment and expanded its distribution throughout the United States and abroad.

In 1999, Sweet Candy Co. moved from an 89-year old building to a state-of-the art facility, located three miles south of the Salt Lake International Airport.

Like his father, Jack, and grandfather, Leon, Tony has served on both the National Confectioners Association (NCA)’s Board and Executive Board during the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s.

In addition, Tony has been active and supportive of the Western Candy Conference. His work in the industry was recognized when Tony was inaugurated into the Candy Hall Of Fame in 2006. In 2011, Tony received the Harvey Barrett Award from the Western Candy Conference.

Active in many Utah civic and business organizations’ boards, Tony was honored and featured as a “Utah Trailblazer” by Utah business associations and Utah Business Magazine in April 2003. Later that year in November, Tony was recognized and honored as the Utah Manufacturers Association’s Business Executive of the Year