Abstract: Gustav Goelitz: German-American Candy Maker

Christina Bearden-White


Twenty-one-year-old Gustav Goelitz arrived in the United States with some experience in wholesale and retail sales. He settled in the predominantly German-speaking community of Belleville, Illinois, and used his contacts within the German-American town to learn a new trade and start his own business. He insulated himself and his family within the German nature of the town choosing to employ German speakers and participate in clubs and organizations with a distinctly German character. When his business failed in St. Louis, he chose an attorney who was fluent in German and who had a working knowledge of wholesale business. He returned to the insulated German-American community at Belleville and reopened a business with his sons. Goelitz was respected in Belleville as an innovative businessman who provided the community with quality goods. His descendants continue to apply the family-oriented business attitude and standard of high quality to their business, Jelly Belly Candy Company.