This local candy shop has ‘new’ owners

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The Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop changed ownership in May of this year. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Kimberly Angles)
The Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop changed ownership in May of this year. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Kimberly Angles)

The Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop in Merchants Square has new owners.

Well, sort of.

Gordon Angles and his daughter, Kimberly Angles, bought the retail shop, 414 W Duke of Gloucester St., on May 4 but they are not strangers to the candy shop.

In fact, Gordon owned the candy shop from 1979-2002.

“The store originally opened in 1964 as Forbes Candies owned by a group of investors from Virginia Beach,” Gordon wrote in an email.

He said the investors bought out the Forbes family in 1970, changed the name to Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop, and used a Philadelphia marketing firm to create the name and logo.

Gordon bought into the company several years later in 1976 before eventually buying the rest of the shareholders in 1979, operating as the shop’s sole owner before selling the business in 2002.

At that point, Gordon had started selling “confections and specialty foods” to places like The Fresh Market, Cracker Barrel restaurants, gift shops and other businesses.

So why did he sell the candy shop?

“I was nearing the age I want to retire and the private equity firm I sold to required the retail store to be part of the transaction,” he wrote. “I would have preferred to carve out the retail store from the sale although they required it to be part of the sale.”

So Gordon retired selling the candy shop and warehouse business to First Source LLC, a wholesale and distribution business based in Toano.

Kimberly stayed on and worked for First Source LLC.

Gordon decided to buy the place back with his daughter after First Source LLC went out of business. Kimberly said it was to keep it in the family.

After buying the shop back, they renamed the parent company, from First Source LLC to G&K Ventures LLC and leased a 1,500-square-foot space at 144 Tewning Road for warehouse storage of candies and other goodies.

As for future plans, the father and daughter team wants to “elevate” the candy assortment and reach out to the Williamsburg community since the business largely caters to tourists.

And they plan on keeping the store’s name.

“There’s nothing like buying a retail business in the heart of the pandemic,” Kimberly said. “It’s a lot of fun and one it’s really nice to have it back in the family.”

It’s unclear if First Source LLC, 3612 LaGrange Parkway, actually did close — a representative was not immediately available for comment. 

A Google search shows the business as “food products supplier” and does not list the company as permanently closed. However, the number on the business does not ring, disconnecting almost immediately, and the company’s website does not load.

James City County Commissioner of Revenue Richard Bradshaw said First Source has been licensed with the county since 2014 and the company’s license is still active.

“The license as far as we’re concerned, the license is still open because they have not contacted us to close it at this point,” he said.

WYDaily contacted Colonial Williamsburg Foundation spokesman Joe Straw to see if they knew if First Source LLC had closed. The foundation and the city of Williamsburg apparently sent out a joint news release in June announcing Gordon and Kimberly Angles had bought the candy shop.

“For information about the previous owner of Wythe Candy, First Source LLC, please consider contacting them directly,” Straw wrote in an email.

A representative of Forbes Candies in Virginia Beach was not immediately available for comment.

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