Minnesota's Largest Candy Store to reopen
Minnesota's Largest Candy Store in Jordan is preparing to reopen this weekend.
According to a Facebook video post, owner Robert Wagner says the store is planning on opening on May 8. However, there will be some changes due to COVID-19.
"This year is going to be different, obviously, because of the COVID-19," Wagner said in the video. "So, in preparation for opening, we have been instituting a lot of safety steps."
Wagner told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, more than six weeks ago, the team began talking with the governor's task force to make a case for re-opening as an essential business, in part because of their produce and grocery items.
"We're kind of in this unique area where there are a number of individuals that felt that maybe the candy store isn't essential, but due to the roots in agriculture and grocery, we still have permission to open," said Wagner. "We think we're ready as anyone can be."
The store is also known by the name of "Jim's Apple Farm," which was how the mom and pop shop started 55 years ago. Slowly, they began adding candy alongside their meat, cheese and other produce. Eventually, the collection of candy became what the store was known for.
"Jim's Apple Farm, also known as Minnesota's Largest Candy Store, we've been here in the business of agriculture for over 55 years. That's when we started selling our apples and produce," said Wagner. "The challenge for us is apples, squash, produce are really boring items in the grand scheme of retail, so we've never really spent a lot of time advertising the agriculture part of the business because candy is so much more appealing."
Wagner said they've taken precautions to ensure customers are safe, including even moving some of the more "high-profile" items in separate areas to keep customers from gathering in one spot.
They've also added other changes, including hiring more employees to keep the space clean.
"That's involved so much plexiglass, partitions, arrows on the floor," said Wagner. "We're going to be following behind customers with different wipe downs, and we're going to have hand sanitizer throughout the store."
The store is almost double the size of a football field, so among the changes, capacity will be lowered from the original 645 customers pre-pandemic to 250 customers at a time. That should give each customer at least 12 feet of space around them.
"I think we're going to make this work," said Wagner.