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February 2015

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andy at Country Stores

Brian Bode, a manager at Jefferson General Store. Sour candy remains popular with children, and another current big seller is bacon-flavored salt water taffy.

Retailers who sell chocolates and candies know that sweets can act as magnets for customers. Store owners and managers use creative displays to attract customers to the candy, which encourages them to stay in the store and discover other merchandise. The Country Kettle in East Stroudsburg, Pa., has welcomed Pocono Mountain tourists and residents for more than 28 years. Owners Pam and Louis Schrenko offer merchandise that ranges from candles, jewelry, collectibles and gardening gifts to homemade jams, jellies, sauces, fudge and candy. While Country Kettle has expanded through the years to now include 14,000 square feet of retail space, the multi-room and multi-floor gift store began as a small converted home.

“We started so small,” explained Pam Schrenko. “But as more customers came in we would ask them what they wanted to see in the store, and we listened. And that is why we are now 14,000 square feet so we can have all the stuff people asked for.” While gift merchandise occupies the front rooms of the store, the back room houses the homemade jams, jellies, sauces, food and 250 barrels of candy plus a separate case for the store’s fudge. The barrels are set in the center of the room within easy reach of customers and in easy sight of employees.


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