House of Sweets brings Chicago-style candy north
By Leah Kopke
GREEN BAY – Tatiana Vaughn has fond childhood memories of every other home in her neighborhood having small candy shops with cheap treats.
Vaughn said a kid could enter with $5 and emerge with armfuls of candy.
This summer, the now 30-year-old held the grand opening of her own Chicago-style candy shop located at 420 S. Military Ave.
“I kind of wanted to bring some of that, what I grew up on, where I consider home (to Green Bay),” Vaughn said. “And I know a lot of people are migrating from that area here, so kind of just like bringing things that we grew up on here so it kind of feels like home in a sense.”
Vaughn said the shop features candies one wouldn’t find in a gas station or drug store collection.
“I have candy cigarettes, and the rainbow sticks and Bazooka gum…” she said. “My mom helped me a lot, too, on our little, old-school candies. So when I was looking at candy I went back to the ‘80s and ‘90s, even we went back as far as ‘70s candies.”
Vaughn said the idea for the shop came to her after she took time off from her customer service jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One day, I woke up and was like, ‘I’m going to start a candy store,’” she said. “I was blessed to do it within like a month. Meaning, I ordered all the candy, came in here, my husband’s painting company (Quality Colors Painting) painted the walls for us, and got all the shelving and stuff put together and ordered.”
Vaughn said at present, she has no employees, but her husband, mother and three kids help out around the store.
She said her kids, between ages 2 and 10, help with small jobs and have a tip jar at the front counter which they split as an allowance.
“Kind of showing them that they can work for themselves, they don’t have to work for people,” Vaughn said. “And they actually are in here, they handle the register and stuff like that, so it kind of gives them a sense of ownership and shows them nothing’s free out here.”
So far, Vaughn said customer feedback has been positive and encouraging.
She said she’d like to continue to see how the current store goes but hopes to one day expand the store and possibly open a second location in Appleton.
“Of course, I want this to be bigger because I want to pass it down to my kids, and stuff like that, kind of like a family business,” she said. “So when times get rough for them, they can come in and they can make it for themselves as well.”
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