Posted: June 8, 2021 A Family Business Makes Downtown Sweeter
331 Riverfront Terrace
Downtown Eau Claire got a bit sweeter this February when the Innovation Idea Award Winner of the DECI Jump-Start Downtown Business Competition, Ifs & Buts, Candy & Nuts opened its doors at 331 Riverfront Terrace.
Owner Greg Clark says that the name of the shop comes from a popular phrase his grandmother used to shut down excuses: If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas.
Once we got to know Greg and his business, it makes perfect sense that the shop is named after an often-heard phrase from his childhood.
“I’m a fan of the nostalgic candies”, says Greg, pointing to the Super Ropes licorice. “I can remember buying those at Skateland on London Road when I was a kid.”
In a shop filled with such offerings as penny candy, astro pops, and fun dip, customers will likely be able to relive some of their own childhood memories at the store; no matter how near or distant they might be.
“A lot of people are looking for an experience when they come to the store. Walking in and seeing some of the products that bring back memories are part of that experience,” Greg says.
For those looking to make new memories, you’re also in luck. The store’s growing imported candy section as well as specialty sodas and the recent addition of an Austrian-based chocolate line provide plenty of opportunity to find some fantastic new treats to enjoy.
“We’ve had customers from Holland, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world that found candies they haven’t seen since they last lived abroad and that’s been really fun!” says Greg.
A family-run store, Greg, his wife, and his kids all pitch in to keep the business going. They are eagerly anticipating a busy summer with the return of events and more people out and about to explore downtown. Starting a business during COVID-19 has not been easy, but the store has been steadily growing a customer base while working to keep customers safe and keep the store stocked. Shipping and supply challenges brought about by the pandemic have been one of the unexpected bumps in the road.
However, as might be expected for a store slinging sweets, they are optimistic about the future. Longer-term plans include adding in-store candy production and eventually, Greg hopes to expand to offer event services. Really really long term? Greg and the family hope to make the store a place where the kids coming in today come back as adults with their own families to enjoy.
As for starting their business downtown, Greg says Downtown Eau Claire was their first choice.
“It just made sense for us to start this business downtown,” he says. “So far, we have been the benefactors of a growing and thriving downtown. At some point, we want to be a business that draws people downtown and is a benefit to another new business just opening their doors.”
Make some time to stop by to enjoy some of your favorite treats or perhaps discover some new ones! Ifs & Buts, Candy & Nuts is worth a visit; no golden ticket required.