Family continues sweet tradition
Q & A with Mary and Irene Handley, co-owners, and Ashley Moser (Irene's daughter and Mary's granddaughter) of Pralines of Prescott in the Bashford Courts shopping center at 130 W. Gurley St., Suite 307. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. 776-9880.
How did you get into this business?
Irene: "The candy store originally opened in 1991 down Gurley Street."
Ashley: "My grandma (Mary) worked for the original owners."
Irene: "When the original owners wanted to sell in spring 2004, my mother asked if I wanted to become her business partner. In the late 1990s, we moved the business to the third floor of Bashford Court."
How many employees do you have?
Ashley: "Currently we have four employees."
What service do you provide in the community?
Irene: "We're a homemade candy shop with an open kitchen. We make everything fresh and in small quantities.
"Most of our products we make in milk, dark and white chocolate. We make turtles, clusters, toffee, butter creams and peanut butter cups.
"We do a lot of barks and we always have at least 15 varieties of fudge."
Ashley: "We also make caramels and pralines. We make candies for special events like weddings."
What is your key to business success?
Irene: "Offering fresh, homemade candies at a reasonable price."
Mary: "We stay the same. We haven't made a lot of changes from when we bought the business."
Irene: "Personal customer service is a part of our success."
What are some of your most popular candies?
Irene: "The Amish caramel because it melts in your mouth, and the Victoria toffee because it's crunchy and buttery. Our peanut butter cups are also very popular."
What is your biggest business challenge?
Irene: "Determining what's going to be the best seller at any particular time because we make small quantities."
How is the economy affecting business?
Irene: "We have Valentine's Day and then Easter coming up and then we'll see where we are at.
"All of our busy times come in a cluster. We really haven't felt an extreme hit this year."
What is your busiest holiday?
Ashley: It goes in order from Christmas to Valentine's Day to Easter."
Do you do any charity?
Irene: "We donate candy throughout the year to different organizations."