Queen City Soda and Sweets is an old-fashioned style family candy store located in downtown Springfield at 301 Park Central West. The owners plan on opening mid-November for the Christmas lighting and a grand opening sometime around Dec. 2.
Renovations are still being done on the store, such as installing wooden shelves and adding wooden flooring to match the store’s style.
The theme of the candy store is a nostalgic, old-fashioned, all wooden store that sells older, non-traditional candy and soda along with various fair foods.
Robert Sands, the owner of Queen City Soda and Sweets, said they will store the candy in old-style candy jars, along with selling multiple flavors of cotton candy, like orange creamsicle, cookies and cream, s’ mores and apple pie.
Queen City Soda and Sweets’ cotton candy is provided by a partnership with Carnival King to be able to sell cotton candy at retail sale all year. Queen City has also partnered with Francine’s Fudge and a Krispy Cakes company to have access to those products for retail sale.
Sands used to own another business but decided to team up with his brother in Los Angeles and use their love of candy as motivation to open up their new business.
Queen City will use popular trends in LA to routinely add new products to Springfield. The owners want to provide new sweets to Springfield that the public wouldn’t find unless they traveled to California.
Sands said he decided to start his business because he noticed Springfield didn’t have an old-fashioned candy store.
“You’re not going to find anything like a Snickers here where you could just find it at the local mall or gas station,” Sands said.
Some of the sweets to be expected are carnival lollipops, fudge, Krispy Cakes, cotton candy, chocolate-covered chips, chocolate pretzels and older candy still being manufactured.
“It is a landmark store in Springfield,” Sands said. “It’s very unique. People who walk in, their eyes are going to light up. Right on Route 66’s birthplace. You’re not gonna find another candy store like this.”
In the summer, Sands said he will also start selling ice cream and floats as business picks up. Outdoor patio seating will also be available.
“We’re going to be open later on Fridays and Saturdays,” Sands said.
In the winter, however, he expects there to be a lull in business, as there aren’t as many people willing to go shopping in the colder weather.
To combat this, he said he will primarily sell soda and candy, which he expects to be popular year-round.
“I have been in downtown Springfield for seven years,” Sands said. “I’ve noticed there are more people in downtown than there are in malls and I think malls are dying.”
While he will be selling products not found in most stores, Sands said prices for Queen City will be fairly low since he chose not to be located in the Battlefield Mall.
“Pricing will be better than in the mall due to lack of mall rent,” he said.
While Queen City will not be open on National Candy Day, Nov. 4, the store plans on celebrating all holidays, including national candy and soda days.
The store plans to create seasonal handmade gift baskets tailored to each person and celebration. Some will have color themes and include both their range of craft sodas and featured sweets like their Krispy Cakes and Funky Chunky gourmet chocolate covered chips.
Queen City said they want to partake in Small Business Saturdays by providing samples of their sodas to the public. Sands has also worked with Missouri State organizations by teaming up with fraternities and sororities for fundraisers.
Queen City Soda and Sweets received requests for certain types of candy, some of which have been included in their stocked products to further emphasize the nostalgic feel to their store.
“I want it to be reminiscent of childhood and create a nostalgic feel for our customers,” Sands said.