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Mother, daughter find sweet new roles as owners of Candy Shoppe

'People like that the new owners are a mother and daughter combination. It continues the family atmosphere,' says new owner of popular Highway 11 business
Lilly Genno, left, and her mother Shannon, right, recently became the new owners of The Candy Shoppe.

The Candy Shoppe is thriving a sweet renaissance of sorts under its new owners, Shannon Genno and her daughter, Lilly.

The mother-and-daughter duo took over the popular Highway 11 South business back in November following the retirement of former owners Dean and Rita Robinson.

Genno, 45, and her daughter, 20, are Orillia born and raised and they are well aware of the nostalgia that both locals and tourists alike have for their new business.

“Candy creates a happy place for a lot of people,” Genno said. “It kind of brings you back to your childhood.”  

As former customers of the store, Genno and her daughter always loved the enterprises' concept.

“Seeing the Chiclets reminds me of trick-or-treating when I was younger,” she said. “It’s such a fun place to come to.”

Genno comes from a background in childcare while her daughter is a supervisor at A&W and also works at the Bird House Nature Company in downtown Orillia. Together, they had been looking to purchase a business for the past year.

“We saw the article in OrilliaMatters about Rita retiring,” Genno explained. “We came in and met with Rita, she was looking for someone local, and it seemed like a business that we could learn with her support.”

Genno, a Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School graduate, says they are hoping to build on what is already a popular business. For example, they now sell children’s books, bamboo bowls and cutlery, and other items.   

“We want to try some new and fresh ideas,” she said. “At the same time, we still carry most of the great products Rita had in the store.”

One of the biggest influences on the store's products is the social media app TikTok, Genno explains.

“We are following the trends,” she said. “The pickle challenge has been big the last couple of weeks. We have people coming in to buy the pickle in the pouch. People are also buying the world’s hottest gummy bear because of trends.”  

Genno says customers have been positive about the new owners continuing the store's well-loved legacy and traditions. They have also had lots of first-time customers since taking over the reins.

“People like that the new owners are a mother and daughter combination,” she said. “It continues the family atmosphere.”   

Genno says she and her daughter are working on a website while rebuilding the store that was completely sold out of products before changing hands in ownership.

“We are slowly getting more things in,” she said. “We don’t yet have the collectibles, but we are working on it.”

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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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