When Alisabeth Wilkerson and Tanya Cauley met 14 years ago, they shared a common love — candy. But it’s not the flavor or the sugar-high they’re addicted to, but more so what the sweet treat represents.
“Candy can really bring people together,” Cauley said. “Whether you’re grabbing ice cream or un-wrapping your favorite candy bar — it’s about creating memories.”
So the two friends teamed up and opened The Candy Bar in WaterColor this past May. Seeing a need for such a store in the area, Cauley and Wilkerson wanted to create a “vacation spot” for kids.
“There’s nothing like this around for kids,” Cauley said. “The adults have their wine bars and restaurants, but we wanted to give the kids something to have fun with. We designed the shop just for kids, so they can feel free to touch and grab whatever they want. The candy can be their after-dinner treat, their ‘glass of wine.’”
When you walk through the door at The Candy Bar, the smell is intoxicating — ice cream, homemade waffle cones, cotton candy and every type of treat you could imagine. And it’s piled floor to ceiling.
“We call this ‘organized chaos,’” Cauley said. “It looks like an explosion of candy, but everything has its own place. We know exactly where everything is, what we have and what we need to restock, but it’s displayed in a fun, relaxed way.”
And fun is exactly what the owners signed up for. Wilkerson’s first job, at the age of 14, was at a candy store owned by Cauley. The women quickly bonded over a shared passion for candy and the happiness it brings with it and became ‘like family.’ After college and a short, disappointing stint in real estate, Wilkerson found herself re-evaluating her career path.
“I asked myself, ‘what would truly make me happy?’” she said. “And the answer was owning my own candy store. There’s just nothing like it — the kids, the happiness — it’s what makes me happy.”
Wilkerson’s dream came true when the doors to The Candy Bar opened three months ago. She and Cauley are working to make sure kids feel comfortable and have a place to hangout, have fun and share a few laughs.
“We try not do anything normal,” Cauley said. “We want to offers treats that are fun, crazy, silly and gross — anything that will make kids go ‘eww.’”