By Ivan Pereira
Lifelong Woodhaven resident Margie Schmidt said neighborhood businesses have changed in tone since her family settled in during the Roaring ’20s.
“Back then, there was an ice cream parlor on every block. As times change, there is a phone store, there is a nail store, there is a 99 cents store. That’s what people demand,” she said.
With so much change going on in the community, Schmidt said she is proud her family’s candy store, Schmidt’s Candies, has stood the test of time and continues to give customers the sweetest deal.
Opened in 1925 by her grandfather, who emigrated from Germany, the candy store offers a wide variety of sweets, including chocolates, mints, jelly beans and caramels. Schmidt, the third-generation owner of the store at 94-15 Jamaica Ave., said that unlike other candy stores, hers offers the treats in smaller sizes so customers could get more taste per pound.
She recalled a customer who once purchased some candy from her store and came back fairly quickly.
“He said I barely got home and I was eating it all,” Schmidt said.
The choices change to reflect the seasons, according to the owner. She said she just finished using her Valentine’s Day molds for chocolates and is now gearing up for the Easter season.
Schmidt said all of treats are handmade with natural ingredients and that the homemade taste is popular among children.
“Those Cadbury cream eggs have nothing on us,” she joked.
One of the other appeals of her store, which is closed during the summer, is its timeless look. Schmidt said she takes good care of the 85-year-old store, which is also where her grandfather raised the family during their early years, and keeps the appearance the same with its large, glass windows, tiled floors and antique fixtures.
“It’s a little step back in time,” she said.
Schmidt said that although she does feel a little pressure to live up to the family name, she takes pride that her store is enjoyed by customers of all ages.
“It’s a nice feeling because there is really little continuity these days. To show longevity, it shows that you are doing something good,” she said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.