LINCOLN, Neb. - After more than 30 years of selling their chocolate and candy directly from the factory, Baker's Candies has opened a new, separate outlet.
A customer checks out some of Baker's Candies homemade chocolates. (Source: KOLN)
It's just next door to the factory, but at 6,000 square feet, the General Manager tells 10/11 it feels brand new.
The new outlet is twice the size of the old storefront, and features 500 kinds of candy, 200 kinds of soda and a whole bunch of chocolate.
"It's not hard to build the largest candy outlet store," General Manager Todd Baker said. "You just build a giant store and fill it with candy. What makes this special is that the customers are coming and being loyal to the business."
The new storefront has been in the works for a year and a half, and was supposed to open at the start of the summer, but this year's historic flooding caused a delay.
"We wear a lot of hats in a small business, but general contractor was a new one for us," Baker said. "We don't know a lot about much, we only know how to make candy."
The official Grand Opening is set for Saturday, Sept. 14. It's a day customers say they've been anxiously awaiting.
"It's a wonderful feeling, because we love their chocolate," said Tamra Thielen. "You just feel like you're at home when you're here."
While the outlet is new, the location is not.
"It started in the 1980's, with my dad, who wanted the store to be close to Highway 6 and Interstate 80, the two main shipping arteries in this area," Baker said. "Then, it just kind of became home."
The Baker family says they couldn't imagine moving to anywhere else, because Greenwood has been home to their family for five generations.
"We understand Greenwood isn't really close to anything, so if you drive all the way here, we just want to reward you for something fun to see," Baker said.
No matter the size of the outlet or the location, Baker says the mission is always the same.
"When people come to visit the chocolate factory, they're always in a good mood," Baker said. "Our objective is just to keep it that way. If we can somehow take a happy person and send them away happier than when they walked in the door, we've had a successful day."
Baker's Candies will be open 9 to 5 on Saturday for the grand opening. Baker says they'll have free samples and will run specials throughout the store.
"We're hoping people will stop in and get some candy on their way to the Husker game," Baker said.