Randy and Lori Collick act like two kids in a candy store. Which is perfect, because they now own a candy store.
Hamburg residents recently purchased and reopened Kemnitz Fine Candies in downtown Plymouth, bringing a long-standing name back to the community after the business closed earlier this year. The store’s reopening excited the community, they said.
“Eighty percent of people (who come), the first thing they say is, ‘Thank you,'” Randy Collick said.
The store at 896 W. Ann Arbor Trail reopened earlier this summer after former owners Cindy and Everett Smith decided it was time to retire after running the longtime store for decades.
How the couple came to own the shop stemmed from a dream: Lori Collick said she dreamed she and her husband bought a confectionery business.
“The next day we saw this for sale,” Lori Collick said.
After thinking about it, the Collicks hatched a plan to buy the shop and eventually became the first to take over the shop. They took several months of work to update the store. They redid a lot inside including new paint, new floors and improved the look. They kept the display case and candy cabinets, and still use the signature Kemnitz look on the candy boxes, but with a fresh feel.
Inside these display cases, the sweets are made from the same recipes that customers have known for decades. Cherry cordials, caramels and more are back, and the couple plan to make the traditional pieces over the holidays, including bunnies this Easter.
“I want people to know that we’re not changing it,” Lori Collick said. “It might look a little different, but it should taste the same. We just brought it into the 21st century.”
Carolina Reaper Pepper Chocolate, anyone?
As the classics return, they hope to introduce a few new things to the menu. Such an idea? The Chocolate Pepper Challenge, a case of chocolates filled with hot pepper toppings made with jalapenos, habaneros, and ghost peppers. By increasing the heat levels, they think the box will provide a fun challenge for those with a strong fondness for spicy foods.
“I hope it’s just one of those things that catches on,” Randy Collick said. “It’s just fun. We want to have fun.”
He said they had thought of creating a T-shirt to give away to daring souls who complete the challenge if they register their attempt.
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They also added other items to the showcase, including caramels topped with Himalayan pink salt, as well as their South American, Brazil nut and coconut based clusters. Online ordering is also expected to appear later this year when the weather begins to cool.
The Collicks continue to use Kemnitz’s production kitchen in Old Plymouth Village, but plan to move it to a larger space in the city. There, Lori Collick said, they hope to increase production and possibly also offer candy-making classes to groups.
The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday. More information can be found on the store’s website, kemnitzfinecandies.com.
The Collicks hope the community can see the passion they have for the store’s history, keeping many of the same traditions alive, including the long-standing name. They are both excited to bring the Kemnitz name back to life.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Lori Collick. “We try to stay true to the recipes as well.”