OAKHURST – Mountain Candies owners Jim and Cindy Pogue have been quietly letting customers know that after 30 years in business, the treasured shop will close following Valentine’s Day.
Cindy assures the community that this isn’t “good-bye,” just “see you somewhere else,” and took some time between fielding phone calls and selling fresh candy and other inventory to answer some questions.Q: You’re closing? Oh, no! What’s up?
A: It’s time for us to pursue other interests. My husband’s been retired for a couple years now, and we just decided that it’s time. Working 6 days a week is not letting us go anywhere. We have things we want to do and we figure it’s time to start to enter that next phase of our lives.
Q: Why now?
A: This is not something we planned on, it just kind of all presented itself and the timing was right and we just decided to do it. It’s not like we planned on it for like a year or so, it was just really a matter of a few weeks. We had the opportunity to sell our unit here, and then things started coming together. We decided that if we were going to do this, probably now would be the time.
This location has been the best place we’ve been in and we have loved it. Moving has nothing to do with location or business revenue or anything else negative.
We’ve had a really good year, it’s been the best year we’ve had with this economy for about 7 or 8 years. We know that there’s a new candy store coming in, Reimer’s, so we feel comfortable with retiring now. We’re not leaving because they’re coming. They actually have lifted a load off our shoulders. We’ve had a really good run. Now with the other store coming, our customers, who are like family, can still get their candies, sugar free and hopefully all the things they love. We didn’t want to leave our customers high and dry!
Q: What are you going to do?
A: We’re looking forward to working on our genealogy, our daughter’s expecting a baby, and our other 4 grandkids live locally. We’re really looking forward to spending some time with them and doing some traveling.
We plan to stay very involved with the community. We decided we wanted do this while we’re good and healthy, it’s time to do that.
Q: Will you still make candy and baskets?
A: We hope to still be making candy and doing some of the festivals and consigning some candy that we make. We still want to have Mountain Candies be around and visible, and also plan to do some candy-making classes. We’ve done baskets for several businesses in town and we hope to possibly continue doing that.
Q: Has it been a good experience owning Mountain Candies, so far?
A: It’s never been work for me. I have loved coming here every day. We’ve loved everybody throughout the years, with all of our trials and tribulations, personally and business-wise. The community has always been here for us. We just love them dearly so it’s difficult to leave but yet it’s exciting. We’re just focusing on the positive. We’ve enjoyed everybody stopping by and seeing us and wishing us well.
We’ve also enjoyed all the good things everybody has had to say and the stories of them coming to our store over the years. We just love people coming in and telling us how they came in as a child and are now bringing in their children.
Q: How long will the store be open?
A: We’re going to be here through Valentine’s, since as far as I understand Reimer’s won’t be here on Valentine’s. We decided we didn’t want to leave the community without a candy store for the holidays and it’s, of course, my most favorite holiday of the year.
I was able to talk my husband into letting us stay until then. We’ve ordered fresh candy, and we’ve made fresh candy. We will finish with Valentine’s Day and then, hopefully, have everything moved and closed out by the end of the month.
We have mostly all the fixtures sold even though we have many of them here. We’re using them until we close. Throughout the community different people have bought different things and we still have a lot of merchandise but it’s thinning. In the gift items, we have 25-75% off of pretty much everything.
Q: What are some of your travel plans for the future?
A: We’re going on an Alaskan cruise in June and then some other miscellaneous adventures before and after that. The cruise will be nice, something we’ll both enjoy and we’ll be with a bunch of friends. Then, we have some miscellaneous short travels in the motor home, etc. We just need to get some things wound up here and after that we’ll be free to just pick up and go any time we want.
Q: So this is good news?
A: It’s very good news. I think it’s going so smoothly that it was just meant to be.
Q: 30 years – wow!
A: It’s a long time, and it’s gone by so fast! We hope to run into everybody at the store or at some local activity. It’s not good bye it’s just see you somewhere else!
The community has been so supportive and so wonderful…it wasn’t an easy decision, it really was not, but I know it’s the right decision.
All things come to an end and they do create a new beginning. We have a lot of things we want to do and the closer it gets to us closing here, the more I realize all the stuff I want to do. It’s exciting.