America’s Beloved Candy Store Continues Expansion Through Franchising
SAVANNAH, Ga., Sept. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Although the iconic River Street Sweets brand will always be synonymous with its flagship store in Savannah, franchising has allowed the family-owned business to expand with multiple locations on the East Coast. On Saturday, September 2, co-owners Tim and Jennifer Strickland will be celebrating the success of their franchisees with seven shops stretching from Asbury Park, New Jersey, to Key West, Florida.
“After 50 years, our family business has grown into a legendary brand like no other candy store in America,” Jennifer Strickland said. “It’s a success story that resonates with our franchisees, who realize they can bring sweet memories to guests and have fun while building a great business. We are extremely grateful to our dedicated franchisees and team members who are focused on bringing the River Street Sweets Experience to visitors all over America.”
For decades, locals and tourists visiting Savannah from all over the world have flocked to the “must-see” destination on River Street to watch homemade candy making at its finest. Customers are entranced by watching team members stir a fresh batch of World-Famous Pralines® in a giant copper kettle or seeing premium pecans added to Chocolate Bear Claws®. The spacious store offers something for everyone, including handmade chocolates, homemade ice cream, and nostalgic hard candies to satisfy any sweet tooth. Over the years, customers became fans for life, but clamored for the confections they enjoyed long after they returned to their hometowns. The Strickland’s offered a robust ecommerce option, but also realized franchising was the only way to replicate the River Street Experience in other cities to satisfy customer demand. Siblings Jennifer and Tim Strickland decided to increase the brand’s national footprint through franchising in 2014.
“We knew we had something unique, because unlike most candy or ice cream shops, everything at River Street Sweets has always been made on the premises,” Jennifer explained. “Customers love to see us making the candy, and we offer samples to everyone who enters the store. This not only distinguishes us from competitors but is a very attractive concept for investors and franchisees.”
Currently there are seven franchises operating in Pooler, GA, Key West and Kissimmee, FL, Lancaster, PA, Greenville, SC, Atlanta, GA, and Asbury Park, NJ. All franchise locations are owned and operated with the brand name River Street Sweets • Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, with owners trained and supported by corporate headquarters to guarantee every store serves fresh, handmade Southern candies in a clean, fun environment. Multi-unit owner Glen Willard opened the company’s first franchise store in Pooler, GA at Tanger Outlets in 2015, followed by a second location in Key West on historic Duval Street. He said his experience as a franchisee has been life changing.
“We are continuing the same family-owned tradition associated with the brand, and I see this as a legacy I will pass on to my family,” Willard said. “As for prospective franchisees, the opportunities and territories are endless!”
As the brand has grown, so has the Strickland family’s unwavering commitment to philanthropy. Recently they commemorated their 50th anniversary and marked their seventh year of support for Kids Café, a Feeding America program that originated in Savannah in 1989. The organization is the largest charity working to end hunger in the United States. This year River Street Sweets donated $14,551, which provides 72,755 meals for kids at risk of hunger. During seven years of supporting Kids Café, the brand has provided a total of 238,739 meals for kids in need. Franchisees are also actively involved with similar outreach projects and committed to helping the communities they serve. A heart for helping people and enriching the lives of customers is another reason Entrepreneur.com named River Street Sweets the “Second Best Candy Franchise in the Country.”
“We will be bringing the River Street Sweets tradition to cities across the country with as many as 20 additional locations planned within the next five years,” Jennifer Strickland confirmed. “We will continue working toward becoming the #1 candy franchise in America, and we are depending on our franchisees to help us reach this goal.”
About River Street Sweets
River Street Sweets has been making memories and delighting candy lovers since 1973, when it first opened its flagship location on historic River Street. A half century later, River Street Sweets locations can be found in Charleston and Myrtle Beach, SC, Sarasota, FL, and additional locations in Savannah, on Habersham and Broughton Street. In 2014, the beloved candy company began to franchise under the merged name River Street Sweets Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. For more information, visit riverstreetsweets.com and www.RiverStreetCandyFranchise.com.
Contact: Rhonda Price
SOURCE River Street Sweets