Retro sweets shop pops up in Carytown

Source - Richmond BizSense
Published - September 12, 2014
Original Article

Retro sweets shop pops up in Carytown

Coming soon to the Carytown retail scene: ranch dressing soda and bacon-flavored cotton candy.

Rocket Fizz, a candy and soda store franchise, will open next month at 3031 W. Cary St. Local owner Patrick Evans has a five-year lease on the 2,300-square-foot space.

Rocket Fizz will have 2,000 kinds of candy inspired by the sweets that were sold as far back as 1910. Rocket Fizz will also sell 500 different flavors of glass-bottled soda.

Evans said the “nostalgic candy” draws people to the store.

“It reminds people of yesteryears,” he said. “It’s something everyone can afford.”

Evans is a former accountant who lives in Denver and has family in the Richmond area. TheCarytown spot will be his fifth Rocket Fizz store. He opened his first in Denver in 2011 and has since added another store there, as well as locations in Salt Lake City and Steamboat Springs, Colo.

“I wanted to do something that appeals to the masses,” Evans said. “It was a way to integrate my kids into my professional world.”

Evans said his two children are his go-to product testers, and the best-selling item in his stores is the bacon-flavored soda. Rocket Fizz manufactures and bottles its sodas in California. Other flavors include Buffalo wing, sweet corn, and ranch dressing.

Evans wouldn’t say how much it costs to open a Rocket Fizz but did say he is using revenue from his other stores to finance the entry into the Richmond market. The total start-up cost for a Rocket Fizz franchise is estimated to be between $115,400 and $234,220, according the company’s website.

Ryan Morgan and Robert Powells launched the concept in 2009 with a store in southern California. There are now 55 open stores and five more in the works.

The Carytown location will be the first in Virginia. The space was formerly home to Ciao, a women’s retail and consignment shop that vacated the storefront in March and moved a few blocks west.

Evans hinted that Rocket Fizz shops may pop up around the state.

“I’ve only been doing these less than three years,” he said. “But there will definitely be more in Virginia.”