Idyllwild’s business profile changes regularly and often more frequently than new business owners might wish. But every so often, a business succeeds by filling a niche brilliantly.
This Thanksgiving weekend, Patty McKee’s Candy Cupboard celebrates 30 years under the same ownership in the same location, a significant milestone in the sometimes-seasonal shifts in Idyllwild’s businesses. McKee has adhered to a winning formula of displaying beautiful chocolate confections and brilliantly colored candies along with iconic candies that boomers will remember from their childhood. Does anyone remember candy cigarettes for kids from a time when almost everyone smoked? McKee’s got them. “Candy brings good memories,” said McKee. “People come in and they’re happy. We’ve served three solid generations of customers, with lots of repeats.” On Thanksgiving Day, the first 30 customers get a holiday pop, a Cupboard original.
A major upcoming change is the impending purchase of Ballard Gas by Amerigas, or rather the purchase by Amerigas of the propane assets of Ballard’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. Energy Transfer conducts its propane business in 41 states through subsidiaries such as Heritage Propane, of which Ballard is a component. Amerigas is the largest propane operator in the U.S. and Ballard, with 450 stores, ranks third. There is an agreement in place but the sale has not yet closed.
In other business, Idyll Awhile, the popular wine shop and bistro in Village Centre will have new owners Dave and Julie Dillon with an anticipated December escrow close. The Dillons are negotiating their lease and hope to remain in their present location. Dave Dillon said they would continue many of the features including food service instituted by Rick and Elizabeth DelNero. The DelNero’s opened the bistro in June 2010. Dave Dillon said they would expand hours of operation and plan to be open during town festivals, including the January Idyllwild Independent Festival of Cinema.
In other business, Curves has relocated to the Village Center behind Higher Grounds. The relocation now leaves the former Coronet Building fully available for the planned remodel of the building into a new Idyllwild Public Library (see County Corner). That remodel will begin after the first of the year.