When customers walk into Village Candy Shoppe in Manlius, they'll get a blast from the past.
The store is stocked with retro candy from Beemans gum to paper dots to Razzles -- you know, the "first it's a candy, then it's a gum" treat that was first introduced in the 1960s. Old fashioned lollipops, wax lips, fireballs, licorice and bins of flavored jelly beans also line the aisles.
As you walk through, you can't help but smile and recall earlier memories, exclaiming things like, "I used to love that!"
"People remember all this stuff," said owner Kathy Chappini, affirming the gasps and wows she hears from shoppers on a regular basis.
Chappini and her husband Tom moved back from Maine in July 2007 to be close to family. Frustrated that she couldn't find a job right away, Chappini took matters into her own hands. With a little prodding from her friend Joan Fraser who owns a candy shop in Maine, Chappini decided to open her own store.
"I went to see Joan, wrote down what she did, and back I came and tried it," she said. "She's definitely my mentor. She's helped me in many ways."
Going on three years now, Chappini runs a successful shop selling not only nostalgic treats and gourmet chocolates, but also a diverse selection of dipping sauces, jellies, totes and crafts - all from local talent and neighboring businesses like Girleez and CLIC.
"That's what I think it should be like," Chappini said of helping others. "You do what you think is right and I thought everybody should be helping everyone. That's what I try to do."
Of course customers are top recipients of her kindness, too. Chappini makes herself available to shoppers and assists those who want help in creating gift baskets. Additionally, she knows her regulars by name.