Eleanor's Candy Shop Opens In Saline

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Correction: An earlier of this article had a minor misquotation, which has now been corrected. The mayor said "burgeoning".

Saline now officially has its own, bona fide, independent candy store!

An old standalone storefront on Saline’s South Ann Arbor Street has been transformed on the inside to a light blue, white and wood world where candy rules. Karen and Andy Todd named their new candy store business Eleanor’s, after their daughter, who is in sixth grade.

“I was definitely pretty excited to have a candy store named after me. People at school always have comments about it,” Eleanor said. “I definitely got a lot of questions. But it was also pretty cool. When I first announced to my school that my family was going to open a candy store they kind freaked out. They didn’t believe me.”

Anyone participating in the Slaty Summer Sounds any Thursday evening this summer will be able to make eye contact with the façade, near the corner with Henry Street. An awning is on its way to frame over the door, which according to the owners, has regularly had patrons lined up around the block since they opened around Easter. The store’s internal capacity has been limited to a dozen people around the time because of the state’s Covid-19 social distancing requirements. Orders can be done online and picked up at the store.

Opening a new business during a once in a century pandemic was a process of “lots and starts and stops” Karen said.

“It definitely presented more challenges, especially [in] getting the trades available,” Karen said. There was a problem in getting plasters and other tradesmen in to help, Karen said, “because they had to stop work during the pandemic. And then when they were allowed to work, they were overwhelmed with work to do. But the city was really good about working with us on [opening].”

Her husband, Andy, said that the process was challenging, but “Not having done it before, we don’t know what it’s like to non-pandemic, so we don’t have a strong frame of reference there. I would say it’s just challenging because the landscape is always changing.”

Constantly changing federal and state rules of what the state’s healthcare system could or couldn’t handle made it difficult. But they are open now.

Wall after wall of candy lines the interior, neatly organizing old standby options like Reese’s and Hershey’s with specialty items that you may well have never hard of. Karen told the Sun Times News that she and her husband never intended to compete with the candy available at big box grocery stores or gas stations, but instead focus on novelty and hard-to-find options from their five suppliers.

The shop will also specialize in old fashioned favorites like Werther's Originals, and with Italian style pop, with dozens of flavors. And starting this summer, Eleanor’s is planning on also making its own, in house, cotton candy.

Patrons will also be able to find novelty items, which are often the biggest examples that can be found. This includes the biggest gummy bear on one of the main displays, or the largest available Hershey's bar. 

This family friendly establishment is about more than just providing candy. The owners are providing worksheets on clip boards for their youngest patrons, to provide kids a chance to learn how to shop. The idea is that their parents will give them a budget – say five dollars – which they will then use to learn how to budget as they decide on which of the hundreds of options of candies to get.

Twelve of the fifteen people who Eleonore’s is expecting to employ will be part time workers, whose hours will be higher in the summer. And the best part about working there will be that in order to ensure that their staff know what they are talking about when they recommend candy to customers, they will have to have sampled a lot of candy.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have them in the community, especially in the downtown. I think their presence is a great addition to a burgeoning downtown,” Saline mayor Brian Marl said.

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