SHOWCASING LOUISIANA: Candyland Cottage
SCOTT, La. (WAFB) - The smell hits you before you can even peek at the treats inside -- sweet, sugary mix of homemade candy, ice cream, and fresh-baked waffle cones. When your brain can finally focus on what your eyes have taken in, the kid in you has died and gone to heaven.
Candyland Cottage and Ice Cream Shoppe sells nostalgia by the pound.
“We’ve got candies from when I was a kid,” joked owner Stewart Laurents.
He did not try to become Acadiana’s King of Candy. It just sort of happened when another business plan went sour.
“It’s actually an off-shoot of another vision I had of a little village of quaint little stores. I figured out that was a project for people with money,” added Laurents.
Almost 20 years ago, Laurents and his wife started peddling homemade fudge at festivals and expos around the south. A year later, they opened their first store in Rayne, La. Folks there were a little dubious of his business plan.
“People would come in as customers and they’d want us to make it. And they’d say, ‘Yall doing okay?’ They were really concerned, thinking this place can’t last. There’s no way a place like this can make it,” explained Laurents.
After eight years in Rayne, they opened a second store just off Interstate 10 in Scott. Laurents said he relies on locals as well as people passing by looking for a place to stretch and relive part of their childhood, not just with fudge like grandma used to make but with all their favorites: all-day suckers, saltwater taffy, even candy cigarettes. Today, they are called candy sticks.
“When they open the doors, their mouths kind of come open like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ They can’t believe what they are seeing,” said Laurents.
And that is before they see the ice cream counter, complete with an old-fashioned soda fountain. Twenty-eight flavors, something for everyone.
“Malts, floats, shakes, banana splits, sundaes -- all the old-fashioned treats,” added Laurents.
Kim Leblanc first found Candyland Cottage when she was in college in Eunice.
“I needed a break and I just walked in,” she said.
Today, she brought her two sons for their first trip.
They loaded their tiny shopping carts with Pop Rocks, peanut butter eggs, and dinosaurs that poop candy.
“We did good today. There were no limits, today,” Leblanc laughed.
It’s all in a day’s work for the Candy King of Acadiana.
“The motivating thing for me is people’s joy and excitement,” said Laurents.
That may be the sweetest treat of them all.
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