New candy store sweetens Demun neighborhood

An “itsy bitsy candy shoppe,” as it calls itself, Oh Lolli Lolli has set up shop in the Demun area of Clayton. It opened Aug. 6, and since then, it has attracted many from the area, especially neighborhood kids.

“Oh Lolli Lolli was supposed to open officially on Saturday, Aug. 7, but a few kids in the neighborhood begged us to open on Friday night, and started lining up at the door at about 6 p.m.,” owner Cathie Laufketter said. “So we did not have a choice but to open the doors.”

Laufketter, owner of Oh Lolli Lolli along with her husband, recently moved to Clayton and decided to open the shop. Her daughter, Clair, is a junior at CHS this year. Although she does not officially work at the shop, Clair helps out with the business so often that she said she considers it to be her second job.

“We had been thinking about a fun store for about two years,” Laufketter said. “We had a store in our neighborhood when we were growing up that we would go to every day and get a bag of candy or snacks. It was a big part of our childhood, and we still talk about it with our neighborhood friends that we see. I really wanted a store that would create memories.”

The Laufketters looked at a few locations, but could not find a place that felt like a candy store, Laufketter said. Then, they got lucky.

“Shortly after moving to our new house we noticed that our space was available so we jumped on it right away” Laufketter said. “It looked a lot bigger because the walls were not up, so after we came back and realized that it was a very small space we decided to add “Itsy Bitsy Candy Shoppe” to our name and get creative on fitting as much into the space as possible.”

The newest addition to the Demun Neighborhood: Oh Lolli Lolli candy shop. (Dustin Kessler)
The newest addition to the Demun Neighborhood: Oh Lolli Lolli candy shop. (Dustin Kessler)

Although the store’s interior is small, it welcomes customers with shelf after shelf of wrapped candies. Both common candies and slightly more obscure or nostalgic ones, such as Zagnuts and Mary Janes, can be found up and down the walls.

In addition to bulk candy, a counter of chocolate-covered items, yogurt-covered items, and gummies takes up about one third of the shop’s space. Customers can select what treats they want and in what size bag.

“We try to make everything unique and get stuff that you wouldn’t see at other stores,” Clair said.

There is no doubt that the shop appeals to anyone with a sweet tooth, young or old.

“We try to provide a range of products that will appeal to the kids at the park next door, students at the schools in the neighborhood, and adults that are in the neighborhood for the great restaurants and salons,” Laufketter said.

The store has a Facebook page where one can find postings on the latest arrivals or make suggestions. They also post when customer requests have been added to the store’s shelves, proof that they listen to requests for new types of candy.

“Customer requests are pretty simple,” Laufketter said. “Just tell us what you are looking for and we will track it down and post it to our Facebook page when it arrives. There have been some candies that people have requested that are no longer made so I think I am going to post a RIP for those items.”

Laufketter said that business for the store has been great so far.

“We have found that the neighborhood is incredibly supportive and that they are advertising for us,” Laufketter said. “We had a customer come in to buy bags of candy to pass out to people that they know because they love [the store] and want other people to know about it.”

Laufketter said she greatly enjoys getting to know people in the neighborhood.

“My favorite parts of the store are when people come in and see candy from their childhood and tell a story that goes along with the candy,” Laufketter said.

Oh Lolli Lolli has begun to take an active part in the community and at CHS. On October 8, they donated 25 percent of all sales to the CHS Pedal the Cause team to raise money for cancer research. The day before Halloween, the store threw a bubble bus party, welcome to all, next door at the Demun playground.

Laufketter said Oh Lolli Lolli is appealing for high school students simply because it carries a lot of candy.

“Studying for a test is so much more enjoyable with a great bag of cherry sours or gummi bears,” Laufketter said.