Campus Candy goes nationwide
The store’s success has led owners Mark Tarnofsky and Jason Tynan to plan on expanding to more than 30 locations in college towns across the nation.
Campus Candy’s newest additions will open this fall in Madison, Wisc., University Park, Pa., College Park, Md., and one other undisclosed location near the respective campuses of University of Wisconsin, Penn State and the University of Maryland, Tarnofsky said.
The stores in Madison and University Park plan to open around Welcome Week, while the other two stores hope to open by the end of September, he said.
“The store in Madison will be a larger affair,” manager Jerremy Deckard said. “Madison is a city of over 200,000 people, and we anticipate it to be a busier store. It is in a great location between the capital and campus on State Street, the busiest street in town.”
The Campus Candy in University Park will be in a new shopping center only a block from campus.
The store is looking to open in Ann Arbor, Mich., but has not found an adequate location. Tarnofsky wants to open as many stores as possible in the towns of major universities, but only if they are in high-traffic locations.
“If it takes a year or two, I don’t care,” Tarnofsky said. “We will jump on one (once one is available). We will not take a side street.”
Although the locations will be different, its style will not undergo any changes.
“Conceptually, the stores will be exactly the same,” Deckard said. “They will have the same color patterns and logos.”
The owners plan to emulate the modern, simplistic design of Campus Candy in the other stores. All of the new stores will have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, tables and booths for customers to hang out or study.
“The design is a wow factor,” manager Kate Miller said.
The success of the stores can be attributed to many factors.
“We started conservatively, not too bold,” Deckard said. “Many new businesses set
themselves for let-downs. We tried to be realistic, and we blew our projections out of the water.”
Rebecca Feil, a graduate student at IU, said she likes the store for its abundance of candy, late hours and appeal to a wide audience.
“The old candy store is a dying breed,” Deckard said. “We are reinventing the candy store with Wi-Fi, televisions and as a place to hang out or study.”
Campus Candy also sells sandwiches, coffee, french fries, frozen yogurt and more than 600 candy and topping combinations.
Campus Candy has gone online to attract customers with Facebook and Twitter pages.
“We’ve gotten great support from the town and students,” Tarnofsky said. “It’s more than we ever expected.”