Stephanie Christensen and her husband, Flint, opened #Treats at 202 South State Street in Shelley nearly two years ago. Get a look inside in the video player above. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com
SHELLEY — Business is booming for a local treat shop as it nears its second anniversary.
#Treats, located at 202 South State Street in Shelley, gained some local fame last month due to a political sign outside their door criticizing Vice President Kamala Harris. The political sign, which rotates conversative messages, has drawn a lot of support and new customers to the business.
Owner Stephanie Christensen says she’s seen a 200% increase in business.
“‘I heard about you on the news. I wanted to come support you.’ That’s what everybody who walked in the door was (saying). Not one person has come in here and said ‘I’m not going to support you,’” Christensen says.
The increase in sales comes as the business approaches two years in business. Christensen wasn’t planning on doing anything to celebrate that milestone initially but is now considering it.
“I probably should because I was planning on doing (something at our one-year mark) and then COVID hit,” she says. “I would like to do a bubble gum blowing contest. I think it would be a lot of fun to see who could blow the biggest bubble.”
Bubble gum is one of many items she has in stock. One of the most popular is the bubble gum cigarettes. The shop offers nostalgic treats from the 1900s, such as Abba-Zabas, Coconut Slices, Whistle Pops (which are similar to Toot Sweets from the movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”), Black Cows, Bottlecaps and Nickel Nips wax bottles.
Christensen also has two giant cotton candy makers, and she can make the fluffy confection out of almost any hard candy. Get a look in the video player above.
#Treats opened in April 2019 in a building formerly occupied by a barbershop. It had been vacant for several years when the Christensen’s saw it and they thought it was a good location for a business.
“We kept thinking to ourselves, What does Shelley need? We had about $70,000 worth of ceramics, everything that you’d need for a turn-key ceramic business. It would’ve been perfect, but we thought it was too much of a niche,” Stephanie says.
She finally decided on opening a candy store after visiting a similar business in Salt Lake City.
“When I was in that store, I felt that nostalgia — that feeling of ‘Oh, I haven’t seen this in decades!’ I wanted to bring that back,” she says. “We scooped up the building and went from there.”
Seeing that reaction on customer’s faces is Christensen’s favorite part of running the shop.
Christensen is considering adding ice cream in the future and expanding her line of Cotton Pops, which is cotton candy on a stick with chocolate on both ends.
Working at the shop is a labor of love for Christensen and she is grateful to those who have supported her. To those who don’t, she says that’s your prerogative.
“That’s the great thing about freedom of speech — you don’t have to support me. That doesn’t hurt my feelings. I appreciate more than anything those who have supported me. It goes a long way.”
Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com