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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sweet & Sour: Russell Stover Candies Palm Coast.. no more.

No more getting off I-95 for free samples

Russell Stover's Candies has been a long time favorite stop for Flagler Beach and Palm Coast residents as well as those who are traveling north or south on I-95.  With a good location off of exit 284, one could take a break from driving for a few minutes, sample the legendary candies, buy a few boxes of chocolate or candy, or get a cone of fresh ice cream ... but no more.

Russell Stovers Palm Coast location will close its doors permanently as of September 25th, 2010.

My next door neighbors, both just turned 80, have been a fan.  When I asked what they thought of the fact the Russell Stover is closing, they said:
" I guess no more candy for us...  Well not exactly true, because you find the brand at the Supermarkets now.  Though it's not the same as going there for a quick stop or meeting a friend for a little 'sweet chat' "

Russell Stover's Palm Coast location offered an Ice Cream Parlor serving Blue Bell hand-dipped ice cream, as well as sundaes, floats and shakes; Coffee, sodas and tea, Gift baskets and boxes for special occasions; Build a Box of your favorite Russell Stover chocolates; and a full selection of Russell Stover boxed candies and chocolates, including Net Carb, Sugar Free, factory seconds, and bargains galore.

I moved to Palm Coast in mid-2004, but haven't been aware of this store early on.  My next door neighbors introduced me to Russell Stover's Flagler County location recently.  I stopped in the last year or so a few times, and I would see few gals and gentlemen (typically on the older side), and sometimes families with children sitting down and enjoying some treats. 

When I visited today, what became my favorites, the odd-shaped chocolate pecan bars, the factory seconds or the dark chocolate box featuring samples from Belgium, Ecuador, and Germany were nowhere to be found.  All one could see was empty shelves, with the seating area removed, and just few trays of leftover heart-shaped boxes from the last Valantines Day:

Empty Shelves and Broken Hearts -- candy at 32 cents a box!

Looking at the reviews on there are some sweet statements dating back to 2003:
" My boyfriend gets me chocolate from here, and it has been good everytime. It's been a few weeks since we have gone in the store. I hope they keep it clean, I would hate to have to give up my chocolates."

" This is a Valentine's Day heaven. They have everything you could imagine. I got friends, boyfriend and even something to send to my mom. Smells great when you walk in like coffee and chocolate. I felt like I was on vacation. "

" I thought this was just a distribution location. I stopped in and they have a huge store with sugar free and low carb candies and a coffee shop. I found great stuff for Christmas baskets and stocking stuffers. I will be going back for sure."

When we asked the workers in the store they said:
" Corporate made the decision to close.  It's the economy."  

Yes, perhaps that's true.  But it's also a little bit of the lifestyle, too.

Workers said the store will close next Saturday (September 25, 2010), permanently.

...and if you are a big fan, you might want to know that the closest Russell Stover store now is in Wildwood, Florida, some 100 miles away from Flagler County...

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