There is a NEW Grandpa in town: Grandpa Joe’s, Middletown
By: Jeri Lewis
“The suspense is terrible…I hope It’ll last.”-Willy Wonka
It was the summer of 2013 that the Kelly Family visited the Flagship Grandpa Joe’s in downtown Pittsburgh. They were in town visiting with family when the couple started to not only buy the candy, but they bought into the concept of a real-life Willy Wonka! In fact, there is a Grandpa Joe in the original Willy Wonka Movie! The once, stay at home mom, Tiffany and her husband Bill reached out to the creator of Grandpa Joe’s to see if he would be interested in expanding to the Dayton/ Cincinnati area. Indeed, he was! 2016 was the birth of Grandpa Joe’s Miamisburg, Ohio.
In January 2017 the Kelly’s started actively looking for their second Ohio location for this candy-lover paradise. “We went all over looking for just the right city that provided the support of the community and municipality that we’d seen in Miamisburg. An acquaintance suggested checking into Middletown at the end of July. When we visited at the beginning of August, we had a good feeling. After a meeting with DMI and some City officials, we knew that we wanted to be part of Middletown,” said Tiffany Kelly.
What will you find at Grandpa Joe’s that brings thousands of men, women, and children across state lines just to visit and buy the delicious confections? Just about everything a kid of any age could possibly want! From approaching the building’s fun entrance marquee; to walking in one of two doors; to getting lost in the $5 candy buffet; to any kind of soda flavor. In fact, they carry over 260 different flavors of soda! Candies I remember from my childhood, like Salt Water Taffy to Sour Patch Kids that you can buy separated by flavor! The top selling candy is the Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs and Bean Boozled. While the top none edible item is socks! Yes, socks with funny phrases on them!
As we approach the #1 LOVE holiday, Valentine’s Day, I asked Tiffany what the top seller was for lovebirds. “Our gourmet chocolate case is the crown jewel of Valentine’s Day. We have over 40 different types of handmade chocolates to build the perfect box of sweets for your sweetie,” Tiffany Kelly said.
It feels like a holiday when you visit because you literally feel like you walked into Willy Wonka’s Factory. As far as what the Kelly’s kids think about their parent’s new profession, Tiffany said, “They love it. It’s been a great way to teach the kids about business, management, customer service, and finances. We all get involved with shop operation, and it’s always nice when we can be together.”
It is literally impossible to enter Grandpa Joe’s candy and be in a bad mood. Along with the walls of soda, candy and gift ideas, you also get to experience the awesome staff. They know the products, and in Middletown, they already know their customers! Grandpa Joe’s is located in the heart of Middletown’s downtown revitalization in what many remember as The Liberty Restaurant. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 8:00a.m.-8:00p.m., Friday and Saturday 8:00am-9:00pm and Sunday 8:00am-6:00pm. Stop in and tell them “Jeri, sent me!” You will be glad I did!
“Time is a precious thing. Never waste it.”-Willy Wonka