TRAVERSE CITY — A franchise of candy store chain Rocket Fizz will softly open its doors on Friday in the former Petertyl’s Drug, 111 E. Front St
“We really do ourselves a disservice when we call ourselves a candy store,” said Tom Holmer, who co-owns the franchise with his wife, Heather
The store is hosting a soft opening Friday through Monday, then will close Tuesday to finish construction before reopening for good on Wednesday. The store then will be open seven days a week all year round
Each of the 80 Rocket Fizz locations offer 500 different varieties of bottled soda, including more than 80 root beers and many craft sodas. All varieties are in glass bottles. Rocket Fizz stocks 90 varieties of salt water taffy made in Florida, part of its inventory of 1,200 kinds of candy
“The regular stuff,” said Holmer, plus novelty candy and imported candy from Europe, Asia and Mexico
“If you like a little cayenne pepper in your candy, you’ll like it,” he said
The Holmers live in Kalamazoo. They visited a Rocket Fizz franchise, decided they liked the concept, and opend a franchise of their own in Kalamazoo in March 2018. That location has performed well. They decide to expand, and — after considering Grand Haven and a few other communities — settled on Traverse City as the location most likely to succeed
“The biggest thing is walk-by traffic,” Holmer said. “There are so few places with high walking traffic. Front Street was very high on the list.
The Traverse City store has hired five employees. The Traverse City franchise occupies about half — 2,300 square feet — of the former Petertyl’s space. The Kalamazoo franchise occupies 1,300 square feet
More information is available at rocketfizz.com.