Keeping the Candy Handy
Chippewa Falls man opens his own unique candy shop
From clothing store to candy shop, 322 N. Bridge St. in Chippewa Falls has completely transformed into something unique. Chippewa’s one and only candy store, appropriately named the Chippewa Candy Shop, was opened by owner and first-time business proprietor Dan Sweeney in early August.
Working for Menards for 17 years in its corporate office meant many hours on the job and very few hours of family time.
Just before the holidays, at the winter parade in downtown Chippewa Falls, a vision came to Dan Sweeney – a vision that would make more time for family. He figured there should be a warm place selling hot chocolate to the parade-goers on such a cold night. After talking with his wife – and working through a little hesitance – they thought they should do something about the hot beverage issue: They would open Chippewa’s one and only candy shop.
Over the next month or so, they took the time to visit several candy shops throughout the Midwest. Sweeney saw how friendly of a trade the candy business was and knew that it would work in Chippewa without question. Taking a leap of faith and quitting his job at Menards, Sweeney took his favorite things from each candy shop they saw and combined them into the shop that is downtown today.
“I wanted to create a place where families can come for more of a quality activity rather than just a shopping experience,” Sweeney said.
The pair purchased the building in March and immediately began demolition. During the renovation process Sweeney even covered up the windows to build more curiosity. By the time the shop opened in August, he barely had to do any advertising because social media and word of mouth had spread the news for him: There was a new candy shop in town.
Maintaining Chippewa’s small town atmosphere, Sweeney has created a place of interactive family time. Parents are not only teaching their kids how to spend money and how to be responsible, they are creating memories.
He also frequently takes recommendations from guests. At least 30 of the 50 new flavors in store came directly from customers. The shop offers sugar-free candy, a wide variety of chocolates, and an assortment of gummies, along with the beverage that started it all – hot chocolate. And with flavors changing out each season and the addition of custard in the spring, there will always be something new to interest your taste buds.
“This is just the beginning of what we are going to become. Every month there is going to be a new addition,” Sweeney affirmed. “Next spring we will have custard machines and a custard buffet. Next fall we will manufacture products on site.”
With outstanding response from the community and social media spreading the word to everyone with a sweet tooth, the shop’s unique candy is definitely here to stay. And you’ve got to try Sweeney’s favorite sweet, the milk chocolate blueberries; “They pack a lot of flavor!” he said.
As the holiday season approaches, the welcoming environment of the Chippewa Candy Shop is sure to attract trick-or-treaters, dessert seekers, and gift shoppers with its friendly atmosphere and mouthwatering candies. And with the winter parade getting closer, I know I’ll be stopping in for a hot chocolate this time around. So head over to Leinie’s, go down to Olson’s, and then grab a bag of candy for the ride home.