(Denny of The Candy Rush shares some love)
While the store hasn't been open in several weeks, The Candy Rush pulled up its gate one final time this afternoon to clear out the last of its wares, and ILFA stopped by to bid it farewell. For over a year and a half since they first opened in June of 2011, owners and community leaders Kevin and Garnet Phillip built the Candy Rush into a place where folks came together on Franklin Avenue. They hired neighborhood teens, sold locally-sourced ice cream, cupcakes, and donuts, and made everyone who came through the door feel welcome. They hosted classes for kids and get-togethers for parents, musical afternoons and movie nights, Batman-themed birthday parties, and one heckuva wedding anniversary. The shop served as the nerve center for the Franklin Avenue Kids Day, a meeting place for the Franklin Avenue Merchants, and the site of more than one impromptu Pac-Man tournament. And did we mention they served sweet, wonderful, delicious ice cream? Mmm. Ice Cream. Nothing's ever all that simple on the Avenue - and nobody knows that better than Kevin and Garnet - but sitting out front on a warm summer's night with a cone in your hand and people all around, you could be forgiven for thinking that all was right with the world.
So why must we say goodbye to the Candy Rush, at least for now (as one patron who popped in declared today, "I am SO sad")? Ice cream is a seasonal business (even the lady, who gets about 2/3 of her calories from ice cream, reduces her intake in January) and the host of the Batman birthdays is only getting busier as he gets older. The good news is that we don't have to say goodbye to Kevin and Garnet, who will still be serving up delicious goodies across the street at TasteBuds (stop in this weekend for their latest variation on their popular breakfast biscuits) and still leading the charge organizing Kids Day (if you're interested in volunteering or donating, it's never too early to stop in and offer your services) and other merchant-sponsored activities up and down the Avenue. No word as of yet as to what will fill the space, but since they own the building, they can (and plan to) be discerning about whom they rent to.
True to form, they closed out the day by bringing bags full of candy up and down Franklin to other merchants and longtime customers (see the photo above). The Candy Rush went out like it came in - spreading a little sugar on Franklin.