There’s something about the story of Flesor’s Candy Kitchen, located in the town of Tuscola in Illinois’ Land of Lincoln region, that makes it an instant classic. Forget the fact that the candy is delicious, innovative and all handmade. Forget the quaint wooden booths or old style candy parlor façade. No, what makes Flesor’s so special are the people behind the bar.
Granddaughters of a Greek immigrant, reunited after years by a decision to bring their grandfather’s candy store back to its old luster, Devon and Ann Flesor are living a dream of American ingenuity. The sisters joined forces to reopen the confectionary with the same principles that guided their grandfather more than 100 years ago.
Flesor’s Candy Kitchen, after closing in the 1970s, fell into disrepair. The sisters knew the task of reopening would be a gigantic undertaking, but felt up to the challenge. Devon and Ann went to work to restore the Tuscola landmark to its original glory, locating the buyer of all the original machinery and fixtures, even down to the original wood.
After many long days and lots of hard work, Flesor’s re-opened in 2004. Today, Devon and Ann create works of sugary art that tantalize their community, the town of Tuscola, home to “4,500 people, when everyone is home,” as the sisters told the Chicago Tribune. Folks in Tuscola are elated with the transformation and head to the store in search of sweet treats, buzz bark and traditional fountain sodas.
So whether you live near or far, know that a trip to Flesor’s will be a memorable one. Maybe you’ll find yourself reminiscing in century-old seats, or ogling over traditional candy-making methods, or you might just fall in love with the chocolates. Either way, make sure to say hello to Devon and Ann because what do they really love, more than candy or an old family shop?
In the words of the Felsor sisters, “What we love more is meeting people from near and far away and making them happy serving up tasty food and confections and lighthearted conversation.”
(Thanks to Illinois Partners Magazine for the video. Read the magazine’s article about Flesor’s here.)
–The Illinois Office of Tourism