SIDNEY — The sudden appearance of a sign on the former bank building at 1019 Wapakoneta Ave., on Thursday, Dec. 20, caused a small social media frenzy among local coffee and chocolate lovers.
The sign wished a “sweet holiday season” from Winans, the Piqua-based firm that offers customers handmade candies and coffee drinks.
Is Winans coming to Sidney? Indeed, it is.
Owner Joe Reiser confirmed the plan in a call to the Sidney Daily News last Friday. His hope is to open in March, about a month before Easter.
“We closed on the building, Wednesday (Dec 19). We put the sign up to tease people,” he said. The Sidney store will be the 20th Winans location. Although some of those are franchised, the local one will be corporate-owned.
“It’s been long-awaited and long-requested by the great people of Sidney,” Reiser said. “People ask me every day, ‘When are you going to open in Sidney?’ So I’m anticipating lots of great customers.”
The store will have a drive-through and outdoor patio seating.
“There will be more patio seating in Sidney than in any other store we have,” Reiser said.
The company’s presence here brings a family full circle, in a way. Reiser’s wife is Laurie Winans Reiser. Her mother was Jean Krukenberg. The Krukenberg family owned Jerald’s, a men’s clothing store on the Sidney courtsquare.
Laurie’s father, Max Winans, also had a connection to Sidney. After he opened Winans Carriage House Candies in Piqua in 1961, he opened a soda shop and candy store in downtown Sidney. But, Joe said, it was too difficult to run both places, so the Sidney shop was closed soon after.
In 1993, the Reisers purchased the business from Max. At that time, Winans was a candy store in the carriage house. About a year later, Joe decided to add coffee to the operation and it “took off,” he said. Their second store opened in downtown Troy in the mid-1990s. And the owners have never looked back.
The social media response to the current sign on Wapakoneta Avenue is just another indication of how the business has flourished.
“It’s very heartwarming to be so welcomed to a community,” Joe said.
“It’s the right time,” added Laurie. “Coffee is hot; chocolate is hot, and together they’re really good. It’s also interesting that they’re coming out with health benefits to both things.” She noted that pundits now think drinking a cup of coffee daily wards off brain issues, and chocolate is high in antioxidants.
The addition of the Sidney store and one about to open in Columbus will necessitate an increase in chocolate production. One strategy the owners are thinking about is to add a second shift at the facility in Piqua.
“We make product to order every week,” Joe said.
In Sidney, the store will hire a full-time manager and assistant manager and 10 to 15 part-time employees.
Reach the writer at (937) 538-4824.