Gate City Candy Company Charms as It Looks to Sweet Future

Gate City Candy Company Charms as It Looks to Sweet Future

Transforms 100-year-old store into his dream candy shop with eye on candy making expansion.

Daniel Weatherington owner of Gate City Candy Company looks over his burgeoning, 1900 square foot, candy empire from behind the case. And he gets animated when he talks about his plans to begin candy making on-site. Gate City Candy Company opened on April 1, 2019. Weatherington says, “it was a four-year process to make it happen and a childhood dream. Over the last we’ll say 30 years, give or take, it’s always been in the back of my mind that I want my own candy store.” A childhood dream realized. “When I was seven or eight years old, little guy, we traveled a lot and we’d go to candy stores. But my dad is one of those dads that would walk into a place like this and say, you can get one thing. And I didn’t think that was fair.”

Weatherington hasn’t always been in candy he says, “I was a bail bondsman for eight years and president of the Triad Bail Association. In that position, I was in a lot of meetings in Raleigh with the NC Court Commission, state legislators, ACLU meetings and everything else. From sitting through those meetings, I saw the big picture. In short, bail is coming to an end in North Carolina. As a bail bondsman, you had to go out and find more and more people and drag them in. So you work all day in the office doing paperwork or at the jail doing paperwork, sitting there for hours, trying to get somebody out. And then you go home and have dinner with your family and then you’re right back on the road trying to track people down all night. And I did that seven days a week.”

“So I decided it was time to make my move when I could. Even after talking to all the other bondsmen in the association saying, look, you know, this is coming. You need to get prepared. Whether that means prepare to fight to the end or prepare to start diversifying whatever you need to do, you need to do it. So even though I don’t write bonds anymore, but I’m still active in the bond industry. Still trying to fight for them.”

Four years ago, Weatherington started writing a business plan. He says, “My brother, he’s in the retail industry. So talking to him I was like, what do I do? How do I get this started? Yeah. So I started writing a business plan. I had no formal education on how to write one. So it was literally what the internet can provide. I did all this research on how to write a business plan. And that took a while and then, then you start doing all the research on how to open a candy store. Where to source products, what’s it going to cost, what’s the best thing? And being a bondsman, literally traveling the whole country, chasing people down, I was able to hit candy stores all over the country. So I was able to see what other stores had their store.”

Downtown Greensboro has posed a bit of a challenge, Weatherington says,

“It’s been a roller coaster. We are good. We’ve had only positive feedback. The local community and the downtown community have really embraced the store. We’ve had a lot of people from the neighborhood, a lot of visitors.”

And the future looks sweet for Gate City Candy Company as they add a kitchen and candy making capacity. “Everyone asks me if the chocolate and fudge are made locally. At the moment they are not, but we will be rolling out our own products in these categories as the kitchen is built out and the retail space re-arranged with marble counters taking center stage and we’ll be featuring Mackinaw Island-style fudge.” says Weatherington

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