It soon will be chocolate indulgence time in downtown Columbus, with the Kilwins store expected to open just before Christmas at its 1230 Broadway location.
“It’s going to be in mid-December, but we don’t know exactly when yet because there’s one lead item on the storefront that we’re still trying to pin down date-wise,” Matthew Moore, who is franchising the Kilwins location with wife Christy, said Friday.
Petoskey, Mich.-based Kilwins, founded in 1947, is well known for its wide variety of fresh chocolate and fudge, as well as an ice cream counter. The offerings include tuttles, toffee, truffles, clusters, caramels, creams, salt water taffy chews and nuts. The stores also carry chocolate-covered apples, caramel corn, cashew and peanut brittles, as well as prepared gift baskets, tins and other items.
Moore said while a mid-December debut is planned for the Columbus store, which will be just in time for holiday party treats and gift-giving, a grand opening likely will be held, appropriately, sometime around Valentine’s Day in February.
“We’re thrilled. We can’t wait,” Moore said of getting the shop and its sweet aroma open for customers. On Friday, he was in the Michigan office of Kilwins going through franchisee training.
“I’ll be up here for a total of nine days doing training. We’re making products and setting up the business and all kinds of stuff,” he said.
Moore said he is happy with the location chosen for the Kilwins outlet, which is in the 1200 block of Broadway, an area that is going through a major revival as Columbus State University’s College of Education and Health Professions prepares to open its doors in January at the former Ledger-Enquirer site. The college includes the School of Nursing.
Hotels, a fitness facility, beauty salon, sporting goods store, wine and spirits outlet and restaurants all have located or are in the process of having a presence in the block that was underdeveloped for years. The progress includes Columbus real-estate developer Chris Woodruff’s two buildings, one of which the Kilwins will inhabit on the ground floor.
“It was very difficult to find a space downtown that actually fit our needs,” Moore said. “We only need about 1,500 square feet and a lot of the spaces downtown are closer to 3,000. We really like the building we’re in. We think Chris has done a nice job with that building, and we like where that block’s going. We’re excited about all of the stuff that’s going on around us.”
The Columbus Kilwins will be only the second in Georgia, with the other in Atlantic Station in Atlanta. There are none in Alabama, although there are more than 30 in Florida. Kilwins, which does franchising, has 110 locations in 21 states.