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Candy lovers stock up on more than sweets

Old-fashioned root beers, giant hanging jellybeans and walls of rainbow candies are just some of the novelties candy lovers will find at Powell's Sweet Shoppe.

The store's variety of sweets, merchandise and entertainment make it appropriate for sweet-tooths from ages 2 to 92, said owner Nancy Carlson.

"People really love to come here," Carlson said. "It really brings happiness to people's lives. Candy always makes people happy."

Carlson and her husband, Hal, both Chico State graduates, returned to Chico and opened the candy shop at 121 W. Third St. on July 4.

"Powell's Sweet Shoppe is set up for old-time U.S. business," Carlson said. "When we looked at locations, Chico seemed to be a perfect fit."

Powell's Sweet Shoppe was the vision of a man named Michael Powell. He opened the first store in Windsor in 2003 and later decided to make it a franchise. The Chico shop was the eighth store the franchise opened, Carlson said. She worked at the original store in Windsor.

Powell's candy variety ranges from 24 gelato flavors to an international section with candy from countries including Belgium, Columbia and the Netherlands.

"Sorority girls come in and get M&Ms in their sorority colors," Carlson said. "And young men come in before dates to buy their dates special truffles."

The candy shop is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Customers are tempted by its baskets of taffies, giant hanging candy boxes and fist-sized lollipops in every shape and color.

The shop looks like a scene out of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," which plays throughout the day in Powell's theater section.

Kaari Martin and her son Zack came in to get colored M&Ms but couldn't resist getting gelato, Martin said.

"It's fun, and there is an amazing amount of candy," she said.

Martin's favorite temptation at the shop is gelato and her son Zack's favorite candy is Starburst, she said.

The wall of bulk candy is the most popular item in the store, Carlson said.

Some students say the shop can be pricey, but they pay for more than the candy when they visit, Carlson said.

"I think you can go to Wal-Mart and buy a candy bar a lot cheaper," Carlson said. "But you don't get the shopping experience. You're buying the whole package here."

Source: The Orion

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