The newest candy shop in Urbana has been adding food options and will soon change its hours.
Conley’s Sweets, Soups and Sandwiches opened in April, offering a variety of homemade candies and foods from the Conley recipe book. Owner Jeff Conley has been adding more items over the past few months. Now he hopes to extend his hours to include the breakfast crowd.
The shop, located 124 S. Main St. (on the corner of Market and Main streets), sells homemade candy, breads, cookies, cakes, sandwiches, soups, salads and more. It also features Ohio-made items such as JC’s Southern Tea (made by Jackie Chapman of Gahanna) and Saucy Sows Sweet Tea, sauces and pretzels, made in the Jackson Center area. The shop also features local favorite Sparky’s Pizza. The dough, sauce, cheese and pepperoni are Sparky’s own; Conley has a few other toppings he offers that aren’t Sparky’s signatures.
Conley had been making candy out of his home for over a year before setting up the shop. The location was a sentimental choice. When he was a child he would visit his grandmother who lived a few blocks from the shop. At that time it was an ice cream parlor.
“When I came to visit her, we would come over for milk shakes and coney dogs,” he said.
Conley said he had hoped to open just a candy shop at the spot, but the owner of the building, Doug Boldman, really wanted a sandwich shop at the location, so Conley added to his offerings.
Ninety percent of items sold out of Conley’s are homemade with his family’s recipes, including his mother’s macaroni pasta salad. The only item he makes elsewhere is the hard tack candy, which needs a special refrigerator that Conley does not have room for in the shop.
Conley said he always enjoyed baking; he would help his mother, grandmother and ex-wife with their baking over the years, he said. He combined that enjoyment with a desire to own his own business.
“Candy’s always been a hobby. It was my dream to have a shop,” he said. “I just wanted to do this, so I did.”
The atmosphere of the shop is “like an old-time, Cracker-Barrel theme,” he said, where some of the memorabilia in the front window is for sale.
Conley said he ensures quality of his products by trying one item of everything he makes, and he tosses out what does not meet his standards.
He likes to experiment with new candy items and flavors; he makes a chocolate and cinnamon fudge unlikely to be found anywhere else nearby. He offers 48 flavors of hard tack candy. The shop’s specialty is the peanut butter fudge.
“Everyone calls it ‘heaven on a plate,’” he said.
Conley said he would like to add more Ohio-made products to the store as it expands. He also hopes to have another shop in Marysville within a year. Conley’s has shipped items to 22 states and three countries so far, and he hopes to keep expanding his business. Conley will take special orders and caters events. Gift certificates are available.
Conley added he would like to host monthly events with live music or other entertainment.
The shop’s current hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and closed Sunday. The goal is to change hours to 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday in the next few weeks, and maybe add Sunday hours in the future.
For more information, call Conley’s at 937-508-8131.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.