Seroogy’s Candy Has Pennings’ Roots

Madeline Jaloszynski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Valentine’s Day leads to thoughts of candy, which leads to thoughts of chocolate, and then to thoughts of Green Bay’s ever-popular Seroogy’s.

“Joe Seroogy is a fine example of a Catholic school graduate using his talents to make a difference in the community,” said Patrick Browne, NDA principal. “As a 1964 graduate of Abbot Pennings, he has brought a great deal of joy to tens of thousands of people in and around the Green Bay area.”

Joe Seroogy may be retired, but he is still involved with the family business. He maintains an office for family genealogy research, local history projects and PR. His involvement in the family business centered around sales and marketing.

At Pennings, Joe played in the band, served as the basketball scorekeeper, and was involved in a plethora of clubs and activities, including the yearbook and newspaper staff, YCS (Young Christian Students), bowling, the dance committee and the chess club.

Seroogy’s was started by his great grandfather Rookoos (Arabic for ‘Richard) in 1899.  He came to the U.S. from Lebanon in the early 1890s.

Brother Jim Seroogy is retired as well, but, like Joe, is still involved with the business. He specializes in production.  He too attended Abbot Pennings.

They currently operate two stores and do not plan on opening any additional stores.

The business will always be owned by the Seroogy family.  They have a general manager/president, a controller, an accountant, director of sales, production supervisor, packaging supervisor, retail sales manager, a human resources person, a graphic artist, head of purchasing and head of shipping. These employees work under the direction of the general manager/president and department heads who report to the owners.

According to Joe, the recipes and quality have remained constant for 120 years.  “Same ingredients, same attention to detail.”

They have modern methods of handling and packaging, but Seroogy’s products have remained unchanged for 120 years, he reiterated.

“I enjoyed all the facets of working with chocolate.  It’s a challenge in that chocolate is very sensitive to temperature, correct drying, enrobing and packaging,” Seroogy said.

The Seroogys have enjoyed  a long and happy relationship with the St. Norbert College Community.  Joe’s grandfather and Abbot Pennings were very good friends as were his father and Abbot Killeen. The family, he said, has a “wealth of stories about our ties with St. Norbert, Pennings, Premontre and St. Joseph Academy.”

And what is the candy of choice for the ultimate candy manufacturer?  “My favorite product is dark chocolate cashew snappers,” he said.