Marvin Walder/The Broadside
Cravin’s Candy Emporium is a wonderfully colorful and well-stocked candy store located on Wall Street in Downtown Bend, Oregon. Cravin’s originally opened its doors in 2008 under the name Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, which was then later changed to Cravin’s in 2019 due to franchising reasons. Interestingly, the name Cravin’s Candy Emporium comes from another shop in Boise, ID, who faced the same situation in 2019 and decided to share the new name with the Bend store and another store in Windsor, CA.
Cravin’s Candy Emporium has an amazingly wide selection of candy and desserts available, a few examples include gelato, bottled sodas, floats, affogato, cotton candy, handcrafted chocolates, truffles, licorice, and old school candy bars. Previous guests of the store may also remember that there is a little movie theatre area in the back of the store that continually plays the original 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie, along with a few signed memorabilia pieces in recognition of Gene Wilder.
Matthew McCall, the owner of Cravin’s Candy Emporium in Bend, explained a little bit about the challenges Cravin’s has faced. “People are nervous about coming in, you know, because a lot of kids that come in, they like to touch everything. So, we’ve done our best to keep everything sanitized,” he said. Alongside more sanitation to ensure the safety of customers, Cravin’s has also installed partitions at the main counter.
Additionally, some of the ways that the store provides candy to customers have been changed to reflect the covid restrictions. “We’ve changed the way that we’ve done our bulk. Like before it used to be a serve yourself, but now we’ve pre-bagged everything. And we eliminated the spoon that everybody grabs and the lids, so we’ve had to eliminate a few things that would be touched a lot by customers,” McCall explained.
Due to the longer shelf life of candy, a candy store like Cravin’s isn’t as harshly affected by customer traffic changes as a restaurant would be, however, the damaged restaurant industry is affecting Cravin’s too.
McCall explained that “With the restaurants being closed, it’s huge for us too because people would usually have dinner, and then walk around town, and come in for dessert. But since all the restaurants are closed, no one’s having dinner downtown.”
However, despite the slower traffic and extra precautions, Cravin’s seems to be doing alright. All of the candies and foods that are available to customers normally are still available, and the more popular items like the chocolate-covered gummy bears are still in plentiful supply.
Valentine’s is right around the corner, and Cravin’s is freshly stocked with a large variety of festive candy. For those wanting to support local businesses this Valentine’s, Cravin’s Candy Emporium might be just the place.