The posted store hours decreed that the store closed at 5pm, and my watch said 5:45, but I tried to open the door anyway. After all, it was a chocolate store, and I have an affinity (err, addiction) for chocolate.
Sadly, the door was locked.
As I walked away forlorn, I heard the knob turn, and a delightful man called out, “Come On In! This could be my last chance to meet you for the first time!”
I never turn down the opportunity for chocolate, so I gladly spun around and entered this wonderful little store. Stepping inside, I was overwhelmed by the wondrous aroma of sweetness that wafted through the charming Anderson’s Candy Store.
Lief Anderson is a 4th generation chocolate maker. But he is also a story-teller extraordinaire, and a wonderful person to boot. His scrumptious chocolates are to die for, and his stories are even better!
As he gave us a personal tour of his creative delectables, Lief had us stand in a particular spot in the store and look up into the windows of a second floor room. Notice the circus wallpaper. This was once the nursery where young Lief and his brother played when they weren’t learning the fine art of crafting chocolates that stimulate the senses and delight the soul. The same upstairs room where he used to crawl out on the roof with his younger brother, until one day they were spotted by passers by who alerted their parents of the two little boys on the building’s upper precipice.
Of all the tales Lief shared, none caught my heart like the story of a sixteen year old Lief, who in order to get away from the store to go play ball with his friends, pretended to not speak English, and turned away customers who had traveled from Ohio in search of their chocolate treasure. It was a watershed moment for Anderson, forever changing how he would lead the direction of the store. Guilt-ridden, he decided to never close the door to a customer again, regardless of how late they came to the store. And here, nearly 50 years later, I am the beneficiary of his generosity.
I must confess that I have a sweet tooth, and am a sucker for mouth-watering chocolate. Additionally, I delight in a well told story. At Anderson’s Candy Store, you’ll be treated to a wonderful mixture of both. Even if you’re a few minutes late, you’ll still be welcomed like a new friend for the first time.