Biz Buzz Monday: Galena’s Kandy Kitchen comes under new ownership

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In addition to this update from Galena, Ill., we will share additional developments in Tuesday’s edition.

Since 1974, Galena’s Kandy Kitchen has satiated the sweet tooth of children and adults with its wide array of homemade treats.

Now, the business at 100 N. Main St. in Galena has come under the new ownership of Andi Deckert, a longtime fan of the store, but the confectionary’s new boss has no intention of changing what made Kandy Kitchen such a staple of downtown Galena.

“All the recipes and all the top-quality ingredients are still the same,” Deckert said. “We’re even keeping the aesthetic and feel of the store the same.”

Deckert, who previously worked for a number of local retail businesses, including managing the former Betty Jane Candies store in Dubuque’s Warren Plaza, said she had been shopping at Galena’s Kandy Kitchen for decades and has always admired the operation and its wide varieties of different chocolates and candies.

When she learned early this year that the store’s current owner, Diane Paxton, wife of the Kandy Kitchen’s now deceased founder, George Paxton, planned to sell, Deckert quickly made an offer.

“It was hard for Diane to sell the business,” Deckert said. “She ran it with her husband, and I just want to represent the store as it was made by Diane and George.”

Deckert said she initially was taken under apprenticeship by Paxton to learn the ropes of the Kandy Kitchen and its various recipes. On March 13, she officially took over as its new owner.

So far, Deckert said the operation has run smoothly, and she is thankful to be running such a locally revered business.

“It’s almost like a dream come true,” she said. “I never thought I would have an opportunity to be in the situation that I am.”

While she hopes to see the business grow and succeed in the future, Deckert stressed that she has no intention of making any drastic changes to how the Kandy Kitchen operates.

More than anything, she wants the store to remain the same place that locals and tourists alike have come to love and admire for the last 49 years.

“It’s pretty cool to bring your child to the store that still looks the same way as when you were a kid,” Deckert said. “It brings back a lot of memories for a lot of people.”