Candy Stores Hope to Better Serve Community By Relocating
Schakolad and Sanders are preparing to move to new spots in Birmingham, both hoping to better their business and expand their customer base.
Got a sweet tooth? Don't get turned around this fall, as Schakolad Chocolate Factory and Sanders Candy — two of Birmingham's sweet staples — continues to prepare to relocate within the next few months.
The two shops are in the process of moving to new locations within the city, with Schakolad moving out of downtown to a new space on West Maple Road near the soon-to-be renovated Mills Pharmacy. Sanders, meanwhile, will be moving away from its strip mall spot near Kroger and into Schakolad's former downtown home on Old Woodward.
Bigger parking lots, moving closer to 'dessert crowd'
When Schakolad opened its doors on Old Woodward Avneue more than three years ago, franchise owner Doug Cale said that despite the recession, the chocolate shop found a dynamic and constantly evolving clinetele.
However, always desiring to become more of a European-style corner chocolate shop, Schakolad will double its space and be able to stock more items, including Michigan-made baked goods, coffees and teas.
“The new location is larger with convenient parking front and rear,” Cale said. “We feel that this will better position us to develop stronger roots in the residential community while continuing to serve the downtown Birmingham population.”
As for Sanders, this 136-year old Detroit-based dessert parlor, which was located in downtown Birmingham more than 20 years ago, might have some frequent passers-by noticing its return. The company hopes the new spot will also bring the store more foot traffic and greater visibility.
“We have been telling our customers that we are moving and they’re happy that we’ll be back to where we used to be, just within eyeshot of our old location,” said Walter Pilon, director of operations for Sanders & Morley Candy.
Having set up shop at its East Maple location in 2006, Sanders faced an expiring lease so Pilon said the company decided to jump on the chance to move back into the Birmingham Principal Shopping District. With the switch, Sanders will now have a kitchen, allowing the store to once again be able to sell food products, such as its popular line of sandwiches and chocolate-dipped sweets.
“(The East Maple location) wasn’t a bad location but it just didn’t suit Sanders’ products,” Pilon said. “Now we will be closer to the theater and the theater crowd, or what I like to call ‘the dessert crowd’.”
Despite the shake-up in locations, Cale and Pilon said Sanders and Schakolad will continue to remain on the Birmingham scene for years to come.
“Our business depends on having strong relationships with our retail and corporate customers and being involved in the community,” Cale said.
John Heiney, executive director of the Principal Shopping District, notes that the relocations of the shops will highly benefit both businesses, particularly in reaching new and existing generations of customers.
“We believe Sanders will do very well downtown as they are a favorite of many long-time Birmingham residents who remember the old soda foundation,” Heiney said. “Schakolad will be missed, but it sounds like they have exciting plans to move to a larger location. We wish both businesses well in their moves.”
Schakolad Chocolate Factory is located at 167 N. Old Woodward and will be moving to 1728 W. Maple Rd. For more information, call (248) 723-8008 or visit its website.
Sanders Candy is located at 745 E. Maple Rd. and can be reached at (248) 594-2056 or on its website.