Aiken will soon have its own sweet spot in downtown Aiken.
Cyndi's Sweet Shoppe will open its doors by Feb. 1, offering a variety of bulk candy, fudge and pralines.
The new business is owned by Cindy and Dick Rudisill. The name “Cyndi” is a clever combination of the husband and wife duo's two names – “Cyn” from Cynthia and “Di” from Dick.
Opening a candy store has been a dream of the couple's. While Cindy spent her career in the health care field, Dick owned a successful food brokerage business in the Syracuse, N.Y., area. They moved to Aiken three years ago and realized there wasn't a store around town that sold just candy like what is found in Charleston and Savannah.
“It's just something I always wanted to do,” Dick said. “I thought that downtown Aiken was just perfect for a candy store.”
The store has the look and feel of an old-fashioned candy store. Before establishing their business, the Rudisills turned the basement of their home into what resembled a country store. Many people who saw it said it reminded them of a penny candy store that they would visit as a child. The Rudisills took that inspiration and used it when designing their new shop.
The shelves, custom made by the Rudisills' good friend and master craftsman Don Philbeck, will be filled with candy that can't be found in the CSRA, Dick said. The store is decorated with a collection of antique advertising pieces from the 1920s to the 1950s that enhances the nostalgic look. The items have been collected over the years at auctions, flea markets, estate sales and shows.
The Rudisills said the space itself is approximately 100 years old, which really strengthens the authentic look of a vintage retail store with its wood slat ceiling and hard wood floors.
“We've looked at candy stores from Charleston to Maui – we've seen candy stores all over the country,” Dick said. “Before, you'd have to go to the beach or the mountains to go to a candy store like this but now you can go to one right here in Aiken.”
Cindy said they have been so thankful to the surrounding businesses that have been so accommodating and supportive. Other local business owners have let them borrow tools while the couple worked at the store.
“The other businesses are very encouraging and very friendly,” Cindy said. “Everyone wants to support everyone here.”
The couple is excited to open the doors to their new business, and Dick said they are ready to help satisfy the sweet tooth of “the kids in Aiken” from the ages of 3 to 103.
Cyndi's Sweet Shoppe is located at 146 Laurens St. S.W. and can be reached at 803-226-0191.
Store hours will tentatively be Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.