Family Business Says Goodbye in Kittanning

Obade Candy Company in Kittanning is closing its doors this Friday. Liquidation of merchandise will go to Wheeling, West Virginia company.

Obade Candy and Cigar Company has been operating in Kittanning for the past 82 years. This Friday, they will close the doors to the family business.

Owner Tom Nasser said that declining health of he and his brother, John, led to the decision to sell.

“Business has been good and the people have been great and fun to deal with in the area. We have some health issues at our age. We tried to find someone to buy it and keep it here. In today’s market, you have to go with what comes down the road. We couldn’t find the right fit for someone to keep it here.”

Nasser said that Thursday will be the last official day for walk-in customers.

Nasser said Team Sledd of Wheeling, WV purchased all the inventory that will be left as of Friday at noon. The company is a large regional version of wholesalers like Obade that services the convenience store market.

“It will be an empty warehouse as of five o’clock (Friday),” he said. “This deal just happened after the first of the year. It’s been a very quick move.”

Nasser also owns the building on South Jefferson Street and said he wasn’t sure if he would lease out the building to another business or sell it.

A painting of the founder patriarch Thomas Obade has hung in the block building office/warehouse as a reminder of the heritage of this great local business.

Nasser’s grandfather, Thomas Obade, began the business in 1936. It has remained in the family through three generations. Nasser will turn 60 years old this summer and can’t remember a time when the candy and cigar warehouse wasn’t here.

“I’m gonna be pretty sad on Friday, I can tell you that! I grew up in this building as a little boy. It’s not going to be a fun day on Friday.”

Nasser expressed his appreciation to his customers.

“To the community and the customers we had, we cannot thank the people enough for what they have done for us over the years. This is a great community. The people here are great, and I am going to miss that a lot. I am going to miss the people and my customers a lot.”

From hundreds of politicians who bought bags of candy to throw out at parades to area non-profits who purchased items for their events as well as businesses who Obade would call on every week for an order, the Nassers will be very missed as well.