Unicorn pops, chocolate-flavored crayons and candy necklaces all bring smiles to the faces of adults and children alike.
Those smiles can now come easier and more frequently as Kimberly Sheldon, owner of the Candy Bouquet, has just opened a shop where the young and not so young can indulge in bon bons, meltaways and Pop Rocks.
“I wanted to go into the flower shop business ever since I was a child,” Sheldon said, “but Lexington already had enough flower shops.”
So Sheldon did the next best thing and opened her own bouquet shop. Only instead of using flowers that might quickly wilt and die, she decided she would fashion her bouquets from chocolate.
Sheldon and her husband Dave, who owns Little Caesars, had been looking for an additional business or franchise that wasn’t expensive.
“We had space in the building and wanted to put something in here,” Sheldon said.
She explained the space was originally occupied by the pizzeria’s game room, but the games were moved to another room, opening up the space for a moderate-sized store.
“All it was, was a cement floor,” Sheldon said. “We built it from the ground up.”
Now the space is filled with Jelly Belly candy, silky smooth taffy, chocolate cigars and even candy “cigarettes,” a hard to find retro treat.
Also filling out the décor are dozens of bouquets, fashioned out of miniature chocolate bars or candies made into stemmed flowers and arranged into a colorful presentation.
“We can arrange candy to look like flowers, cakes, sundaes,” Sheldon said. “Or from all toffee or, all sugar-free candy. We can even do all blue candy or all pink candy arrangements.”
Chocolate isn’t the only choice, however, and customers aren’t limited to adding to the basket only the items available in the shop.
“If they bring something in,” Sheldon said, “I can put it in a basket or an arrangement.”
The folks at the Candy Bouquet deliver their bouquets, too, but one service that sets Sheldon’s shop apart from a flower delivery service is that she can take party décor to a new level with her candy buffets.
“It’s just like a food buffet,” Sheldon said, “except it’s all candy.”
Sometimes, Sheldon added, it can also be a little corner at a mostly adult party, a diversion set up to keep the children occupied.
The Candy Bouquet opened on Monday, Aug. 2. When Sheldon was asked what the biggest hurdle was in opening her own store, she said it was hard leaving her steady paycheck behind.
“It was hard to quit,” Sheldon said, “not having a job and without knowing if this will work out.”
She and Dave went to Little Rock, Ark., for a week’s worth of training and certification. That training, coupled with the drive to work with customers no matter what their budget, has Sheldon hoping she will soon be able to expand and offer more gift items, in addition to the candles, oils and helium balloons she already has within arms reach.
And what she doesn’t have, she will special order.
“I have a lot of different sources,” Sheldon confided.
Source: Lexington Clipper Herald