The story of "Candy Pete"
"Candy Pete" Cero, a Greek sailor, was lured to Wichita, Kansas, for railroad work in 1883. But Pete became ill and the railroad crew left him behind when they moved on. Without railroad work to pay his way, Pete turned to candy-making in 1885. Cero's handmade candies became popular with Wichitans, and Pete's business grew.
Since Candy Pete, three generations of the Cero's family have carried on his tradition. In 1999, Ed Cero, the last of the family's confectioners, was ready to retire, but had no family member to take his place. With a goal of giving back to the community that had supported Cero's over the years, Ed turned to an unlikely buyer: The Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas. It proved to be a sweet match. Cero's reputation and traditions would continue while working in conjunction with a program providing job training and a nurturing environment for special needs adults.
On November 4, 2010, Cero's returned to a family-owned business with the purchase by Mother/Daughter team - Pam and Darcy Bishop. Long-time customers of Cero's, the Bishops jumped at the opportunity to carry-on this Wichita Tradition. The Bishops are excited to share Darcy's candy-making skills combined with Cero's recipes. They have worked to expand the product line and brought back some old favorites.
Celebrating 125 years of Sweet History and Tradition!