You may have never heard of the Candy Kitchen in Wilton, Iowa but it has been around since the 1800’s. For generations, the Candy Kitchen has served its community by providing a place where people can not only buy candy but also enjoy each other’s company. The Candy Kitchen has been around for so long that it is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Though it now exclusively sells candy, in its early days the Candy Kitchen also included a clothing store and a post office. It wasn’t until 1910, when Gus Nopoulos came along as a permanent tenant that Candy Kitchen as we know it today was first open for business. Nopoulos bought the property, added new equipment and gave the establishment its name.

Nopoulos ran the shop until the late 1940’s when he’s son, George, and his daughter in law, Thelma, took over the operation. Both of them continued to run the Candy Kitchen for another 70 years!

George Nopoulos passed away in 2015 and Thelma decided to sell the business. For the first time, the Candy Kitchen would be operated by someone outside of the Nopoulos family. The business was sold to Lynn and Brenda Ochiltree. Though the Ochiltrees previously ran a funeral home, they were able to use their business experience to prepare them to take over the Candy Kitchen.

As local residents, they were well aware of the history of the Candy Kitchen and what it meant for the store to be passed along to them. In order to preserve a historically significant site for their community, the Ochiltrees promised Thelma that they would try to enact as few changes as possible.

The Ochiltrees have been running the Candy Kitchen for over three years now and have, so far, stuck to their promises. They have painted the stores iconic interior and are still providing the same care to customer service as the previous owners. The Ochiltrees understood the value of history and nostalgia and used that to promote the kind of candy store that can seldom be found in the United States now-a-days.

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