Some customers have been schlepping to Concord from across the state for years to satisfy their sweet tooth, others for the nostalgia associated with Granite State Candy Shoppe, the Capital City’s family-owned candy store.
Shop owner Jeff Bart hopes that some customers will be able to save on gas (and thus spend more on candy) by now having the option to visit a Manchester location of Granite State Candy Shoppe, which opened on Elm Street this week. He chose the new spot for its proximity to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the Verizon Wireless Arena and Veterans Park, and for the complementary businesses nearby.
Part of decision to open a second location, 85 years after the first shop opened, was to carry on with the shop’s business model and strategy, Bart said. He expects the Manchester location will keep his new enrobing line busy.
Granite State Candy Shoppe, Bart said, has an advantage over some of its chocolate-making competitors as it sells ice cream to keep business going throughout the summer. Other parts of the shop’s “multi-pronged” approach to business include its wholesaling, fundraising and private-label accounts.
“Adding an additional retail location is essentially only one of those prongs,” Bart said. “They build upon one another.”
Bart said he would have no problem with Manchester becoming the chocolate capital of New Hampshire and he doesn’t see himself as a direct competitor to the nearby Dancing Lion and Van Otis chocolate shops: “People will look at us in different ways,” he said.
The new 1,200-square-foot space is half the size of the flagship store, where all of the chocolate and ice cream production will continue. “We will be bringing things down on a seemingly daily basis,” Bart said.
The Queen City shop will not have the same inventory as the Concord store but will have what Granite State does best: ice cream, chocolates (including molds) and pre-packed gift boxes. Bart said he is working on a signature sweet for the new location; the Concord location will continue to exclusively sell the Classic Concord Mint.
“We are excited to see some new faces, new retail customers, new corporate customers as result of the move,” Bart said. “We’re known for our customer service here — for being a friendly, welcoming, fun place to visit.”
“It’s always fun to see people walk in and take a deep breath, take in all the sights and the smells,” he said. “It’s fun to make people happy and satisfy their sweet tooth.”