HOULTON, Maine — Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe likely is the only Houlton store that you could leave with a toothache.
But customers at the year-old Main Street business don’t seem to care, and owner Karen Keber was busy Thursday afternoon putting out chocolate-covered reindeer, candy snowmen and other treats to help her customers celebrate the holiday season.
The only shop in town devoted specifically to candy and one of the few in the region, Uncle Willy’s sells a huge variety of famous, lesser-known and old-fashioned candy, along with goods that Keber makes herself. The shelves in the store hold rows of glass jars of candy, from orange sourballs to red-and-white peppermint sticks and brown caramel chews to chocolate-covered potato chips.
“Business has really been good,” Keber said Thursday, standing at the candy counter at the front of the store. “It was really good during the first year. It has actually been better than we expected.”
The store, which opened last November, is named after Keber’s late husband, Willy. Staffed by both Keber and her 15-year-old daughter, Britney Keber, the owner said the store offers candy that will satisfy any palate.
“A lot of the adults come here for the candy that they ate when they were little that they can’t find in local stores anymore,” she said. “Adults come here a lot [and] pick up some candy and tell me they haven’t seen that in a long while. I think it kind of takes them back to their childhood.”
Children also are frequent shoppers, but Keber said that she gets a good mixture of both children and adult shoppers.
In keeping with the holiday season, Keber is selling a variety of homemade goods. On Thursday, she had little snowmen and Santa Claus treats, chocolate-covered reindeer, Christmas hard candy and candy canes.
In addition to those, glass jars overflow with jellybeans, all sorts of candy, caramel, molded chocolate lollipops, chocolate-covered pretzels and turtles.
Keber said that she participated in the recent Downtown Merchants Holiday Open House, which was sponsored by the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce. During the event, downtown businesses threw open their doors and slashed prices for local shoppers.
“We had a lot of customers,” she said.
For more information, visit the store at 60 Main St., or call 532-3640.