After a nearly five-year hiatus, Fannie May is back in the Quad-Cities with its familiar white candy boxes and a brand new store.
Fannie May Candies has opened a corporate-owned store at 2196 W. Kimberly Road — in the shopping complex that houses the West Kimberly Hy-Vee store. The store’s Nov. 16 opening comes after former owner Archibald Candy Corp. closed all of its 228 stores — including three in the Quad-Cities — in February 2004, amid a bankruptcy.
“We’re exactly what you can remember,” Nicolle Krupka, district sales manager, said of the new store. “We have the same good old stuff including mint meltaways and the colonial assortment.
“It’s the same Fannie May with an updated twist,” she said, adding that the sterile white décor now has been replaced with red walls and wooden bookcases. The candy is made from the same recipes and with ingredients from the same suppliers as the old Fannie May.
Krupka said the Davenport store is part of an expansion by Fannie May Candies “into the remote areas where we used to be.’’
When Archibald Candy Corp. closed all its Fannie May and Fannie Farmer stores in 2004, the Quad-Cities was home to three stores — one at NorthPark Mall in Davenport and two in Moline, at SouthPark Mall and a downtown standalone store at 1532 5th Ave. The candy maker also previously had a store at Duck Creek Plaza, Bettendorf.
In addition to being the first new Quad-City store, the Davenport store also marks the company’s return to Iowa.
According to Krupka, Fannie May was out of business for only nine months before Alpine Confections Inc. bought the company’s recipes and equipment and reopened in October 2004. Two years ago, the company was bought by 1-800Flowers.com, which remains the parent company.
Since the stores closed, local Hallmark stores and grocers have carried limited assortments of Fannie May.
“We have been doing excellent in the Chicago market,” she said. Alpine originally reopened 30 stores in the Chicago area in the fall of 2004. Today, the company has 73 stores. In addition to Davenport, the company has expanded into Bloomington/ Normal and Springfield, Ill., and Indianapolis. Companywide, Fannie May employs about 1,000 people at Christmastime.
“We’re getting a very positive response,” she said of the 1,000-square-foot Davenport store, which admittedly “is a little tucked out of the way.” But she hopes the area will support more stores in the future.
The local store employs six people and is managed by Cindy Driscoll. Its holiday hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The store’s telephone number is (563) 386-1589.
Krupka said “just like old times” customers can buy pre-packaged chocolate favorites or pick and choose their own. Soon, the store will expand into other desserts, including ice cream cakes.
“We only open stores in the fall because that gives us the big three holidays — Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. We’re happy to be back and hope they find us.”
Jennifer DeWitt can be contacted at (563) 383-2318 or email@example.com.
Fannie May spans decades
The first Fannie May retail store was opened by H. Teller Archibald in 1920 in Chicago. By 1935, the company had nearly four dozen retail stores in Illinois and neighboring states.
During World War II when ingredients were scarce, Fannie May stuck with its exact recipes and made only what it could. That meant closing shops early because no candy was available.
One of its customers’ favorites, Fannie May Pixies, were first made in 1946 by hand-pouring caramel over nuts and then placing them on a conveyor belt to be drenched in chocolate.
In 2004, Archibald Candy Corp. filed bankruptcy and closed all it stores. The company was bought by Alpine Confections Inc. after it submitted the winning bid in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
In May 2006, Fannie May joined the 1-800-Flowers.com family of brands.