Candy Shoppe on Main to move from one Main Street to another

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 26, 2019

By Samuel Motley 

SALISBURY — The Candy Shoppe on Main, located at 119 S. Main St., is leaving Salisbury next week.

There’s “a certain amount of sadness” in seeing the store close and move, owner Don Vick said. “We made so many friends through the shop.”

The move comes as Vick, who is 70, looks to retire after a lifelong career in the candy business.

Vick is selling the shop to Rohan Banton, who will move it to Main Street in Kannapolis. The address of the store has not been determined because renovations in the new location are ongoing, he said.

Vick, who is originally from Chicago, opened the shop in 2013. He ran it primarily with his wife, Nancy. His son, Tyler Vick, would help at the shop during peak times.

Vick was instrumental in the process of introducing the West German candies Mamba Fruit Juice, Toffifay, and Wurther’s Butter in the United States in the 1980s while he worked for Storck USA, he said.

He worked for other big-name candy distributors throughout the country as well.

About 1998, Vick joined Sunline Brands — known for Sweet Tarts, Spree and Pixie Sticks candies. He was director of sales and later was promoted to vice president of sales.

In 1990, Vick moved to Mooresville to work for Beacon’s Sweets. However, his first stay wasn’t long. He left the state for Selma, Alabama, to work for American Candy Co., which made “print label candy,” he said.

In the late 1990s, Nancy Vick suffered her first stroke. Vick felt it was time to leave the on-the-road lifestyle of a salesman.

Since Vick and his wife still owned a house in Salisbury, it was a natural choice to return here.

In Salisbury, Vick took on a regional position with Topps Co., the maker of Bazooka Bubble Gum. He spent seven years with the company, then was recruited to work for R.L. Albert, the importer of Ice Cubes candy.

In 2013, Vick decided to open a shop using his 45 years of experience in the candy business.

Salisbury’s Main Street was the ideal location for an old-fashioned candy shop, he said. Its downtown provided the background he envisioned.

Vick has cherished memories of running the shop with his wife.

“Maybe three and a half years ago, a father and son came in here. The dad is a teacher at Carson High School. The little boy’s name is Dudley.”

They would come to the shop on Wednesdays, he said.

“And Dudley would come in with his dad,” he said.

They would then go for dinner at GoBurrito, and later meet Dudley’s mother at Bible study.

Dudley, now 7, still visits the shop every Wednesday during the school year, Vick said.

“We will miss things like that,” he said.

Another customer has been coming in every week for years to buy 1 pound of double-dipped peanuts, Vick said.

“And through that, we have developed a friendship,” he said.

It will be hard to lose connections like these, he said.

Part of the reason for the closure, Vick said, was finding a buyer acceptable to both Vick and the landlord. It was important to find someone to “maintain the integrity of the shop as an old-fashioned candy shop,” he said.

Another reason was the opening of another candy shop across the street, he said.

David Post, the owner of the shop across the street, said he offered to buy Vick’s shop, but the two of them had different visions for the stores. Post said he wanted to have a “lighter and brighter” store whereas Vick hoped to maintain the old-fashioned ambiance.

When Post learned Vick’s store was leaving Salisbury, he said he was disheartened. Having a competitor nearby would have helped both shops succeed, he said.

For a short time coming, Vick can still be found working part time in the new shop in Kannapolis, he said, as he passes the baton — his candy legacy — to new owner Banton.

Contact reporter Samuel Motley at 704-797-4264.