Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar Inducts Schmidt’s Candy into State Historic Business Preservation Registry
Assemblywoman brings city and stakeholders together to recognize 97-year-old business in her district
South Queens, NY – On Monday, State Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-AD 38) brought the community together at Schmidt’s Candy to induct the historic business into the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry. A beloved neighborhood staple, Schmidt’s Candy is a 97-year-old confectionery in Woodhaven. Inclusion in the registry will provide Schmidt’s with educational and promotional support from the State of New York.
Assemblywoman Rajkumar brought together stakeholders from across the City to the induction ceremony, which took place inside of the candy store itself. In attendance were Queens Chamber of Commerce President Tom Grech, New York City Department of Small Business Services’ Tynisha Sykes, Queens Economic Development Corporation Public Relations Director Rob MacKay, Community Board 9 Chairwoman Sherry Algredo, 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.
In 2021, Assemblywoman Rajkumar secured a seat on the Assembly Committee on Small Business and has led efforts to empower small businesses around the State.She aided small businesses in recovering from the COVID-19 economic downturn by helping to create the $800 million Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program and the $600 million State Small Business Credit Initiative. She has also helped make resources more easily accessible to mom-and-pop shops. She helped pass legislation creating small business liaisons in state agencies and requiring the Department of State to provide information on business assistance programs when new businesses file. The Assemblywoman also assisted with changes to the tax code, helping enact legislation to reduce taxes on small business income and create the COVID-19 Capital Costs Credit.
The Assemblywoman has brought increased attention, resources, and services to Woodhaven since she took office in 2021. Earlier this year, she passed the historic first-ever state resolution commemorating Woodhaven’s birthday and honoring its history.
Her induction of Schmidt’s Candy into the historic registry provides support to one of Woodhaven’s most beloved small businesses.Located in the Assemblywoman’s district, Schmidt’s Candy has served the finest chocolates since 1925, when Margie Schmidt’s grandfather Frank Schmidt founded the confectionery. Today, Ms. Schmidt handcrafts the candies herself in-house, using many of her grandfather’s original recipes, and works as much as sixteen 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.
Assemblywoman Rajkumar said: “I brought this State recognition and support from citywide stakeholders to Schmidt’s Candy because Margie 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.”
Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services said: “Small businesses like Schmidt’s Candy are what makes New York City 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!”
Margie Schmidt said: “When my grandfather founded Schmidt’s Candy 97 years ago, he would have never imagined that the confectionery would literally make the history book. 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.”
Queens Chamber of Commerce President Tom Grech said: “I was honored to participate in this momentous occasion for Schmidt's in Woodhaven today. Thanks so much to Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar for leadership and devotion to small businesses in the great County of Queens.”
Vance Barbour of the Woodhaven Residents' Block Association, whose grandmother worked for Schmidt’s Candy, said: “Margie Schmidt is a pillar of our 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. 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.”
Queens Together founder Jonathan Forgash said: “Today, Schmidt’s being recognized for not only 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. 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.”
Community Board 9 Chair Sherry Algredo said: “Today we gathered to commemorate and celebrate the famous Schmidt’s Candy on its historic milestone. This event was only possible because of Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. She is always there for us, always advocating for our needs, and always here in the community. This was just one of the many ways she has brought so much more activity and engagement here in South Queens. We are lucky to have her.”
Queens Economic Development Corporation Public Relations Director Rob MacKay said: “This was a good news day. I was so happy for this moment. Thank you to Assemblywoman Rajkumar for making this happen. Schmidt’s is so much more than a chocolate shop. It is a part of the community. 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.”
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said: “What an honor it is for this community staple to officially be recognized in the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry. Schmidt’s Candy has been serving the people of Woodhaven since 1925. Throughout the years the family has kept this small business open and operating, and today we have Margie Schmidt — granddaughter of the original owner, Frank ‘Grandpa’ Schmidt — to continue the family tradition. As a fan of Schmidt’s Candy, I congratulate the Schmidt family on this historic occasion, and I wish them all the luck going forward for another 97 years!”
Councilwoman Joann Ariola said: “Schmidt’s Candy is a staple of the Woodhaven community and we are so happy to be celebrating 97 years of their 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.”