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Visitors to Prince George Street are getting a new option for sweet treats.
Kilwins, a specialty candy, fudge and ice cream store, is opening a location at 421 Prince George St. The building was previously occupied by the Smithfield Ham Shoppe.
The store joins Baskin-Robbins, Berrybody Frozen Yogurt and Wythe Candy as confectionaries in the Merchants Square area.
“We’ve waited a long time for a storefront to open up in downtown Williamsburg,” said Steve Titus, Kilwins’ vice president of franchise development.
Titus said the Prince George Street location was ideal for a sweet shop, which relies on impulse buying, due to the high levels of foot traffic on the street.
Founded in 1947, the Michigan-based company operates 98 franchises across the U.S., and specializes in candy, ice cream, fudge and other sweet treats.
Titus said many of the products available for sale at the Williamsburg location would be manufactured on site — much of it by hand.
The corporation leased the storefront directly to ensure access to the location. Titus said Kilwins is currently speaking with potential franchisees.
The company held an open house at the location the last weekend of March, which attracted nearly 300 people over the course of the day, and brought “six or seven” people interested in operating the franchise.
When a franchisee is selected, Titus said, the company will transfer the lease on the location.
A Kilwins franchise previously operated in High Street, but has since closed. Titus said the company is confident the new location will be successful.
“We think Williamsburg is tailor-made for a premium, high-end chocolate, fudge and ice cream store,” he said.
Titus said the Prince George Street store could be up and running in six to eight months.