Although Halloween is still 30 days away, people in Blackfoot had the opportunity to get their candy fill Tuesday at a new shop, with a familiar face behind the counter.
Inside The Candy Jar, Blackfoot’s newest sweet shop, you can find clusters, caramels, and caffeine. And behind the counter, former Blackfoot Mayor Paul Loomis.
Since leaving office, he’s put politics aside and focused on the sweeter side of life.
“We made 72 pounds of fudge yesterday,” Loomis said.
On Tuesday, Loomis held a soft opening for his store, months after he had initially planned to welcome in customers.
“We were hoping to open by Memorial Day,” he said, “then the joke became well maybe Labor Day and here we are October first.”
Loomis said a lot of time went into the woodworking and granite installation as well as supply ordering, but nothing was rushed.
“It’s one of those Sistine Chapel type things,” Loomis joked. “It gets done when it gets done.”
Although the store, located directly across the street from the Potato Museum, still isn’t fully complete, Loomis said it’s a fantastic feeling to finally have customers inside.
“Really, the soft opening is more for us. Meaning, we’ve got to learn our trade,” he said. “You know, we’ve made candy before, but not at this level.”
Fudge is one of the things they make in-house, currently offering 12 different flavors that they’ve spent hours making. But when it comes to the candy they aren’t making, Loomis has taken to finding Idaho-based companies to supply them.
Loomis hopes to learn from the soft opening, saying that they are experimenting with everything, and still looking ahead to an official opening.
“Oh my goodness, we haven’t even discussed that. We haven’t even discussed it, but, at some point, we have to have a grand opening, I suppose,” Loomis said.
Loomis’ current plan is to maintain similar hours to the neighboring Potato Museum (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) in an effort to catch the same crowd.