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Food & Drink

A little Clintonville chocolate shop is offering big flavors




I walked into the Colonial Candy Shoppe on High Street in Clintonville during a sugar fast (don’t ask). Bad idea, because the sumptuous chocolate delights displayed were mighty tempting. Thanks to the owner John Durst, a lifelong resident of Clintonville, I was severely tested. “You can’t come in here without sampling the chocolates,” Durst said. My sugar fast quickly turned into a sugar rush.

Colonial Candy has been around for five decades, having moved to its current location in 2001. Now owned by John, his wife Stacey, and their 16-year- old son Tanner, Colonial has been more of a local stewardship than an ownership. (The Dursts are the shop’s fourth owners, after purchasing it in 2015.)

While love of candy brought the Dursts to Colonial, it’s just part of their story. So, how exactly does a professor at Ohio Wesleyan (John), an employee of Battelle (Stacey), and a high school student (Tanner), who have no experience in chocolate and candy other than eating it, get into owning a candy store?

Photos: Rebecca Tien

“We would shop here at the Saturday morning farmer’s market, and we’d come in here [to Colonial Candy],” Durst said. “One day we came in to get some chocolate and we saw this yer saying the store was for sale. We laid the flyer down in our house for two months and never thought about it. Until one day we wondered what she wanted. We asked. The price was right, and we bought it.”

Even though the Dursts have day jobs (and school), they all pitch in to keep things running. And in the summer, when they add ice cream to the menu, they employ local high school and college students. “We bought the store in part because my wife and I worked through high school and we wanted our son to do the same,” Durst said. “We also wanted to do something in the community and for the community since it has done so much for us.”


Stability is what Colonial Candy is all about. And nothing is more solid than the relationship Colonial shares with Haggy’s, the Canton- based candy and chocolate manufacturer and retailer that’s been around since 1923. It’s a name with cache among chocolate lovers, and Durst sees them as the key to people coming back for more. “I don’t think they have changed [what they make] since they first started,” he said. “We wouldn’t have bought the business without them being a part of this.”

Durst doesn’t proclaim to be a chocolate expert like Willy Wonka, but he thinks the chocolate just “hits the right notes.” In January the shop transitions from peppermint season into selling more traditional flavors— though if you can sample the French Mint, a pink-colored dark chocolate peppermint, it’s delicious any time of year. Chocolate-covered peanuts or pecans and standard milk chocolate caramel are always popular go-tos.

There’s hard candy lining the side of the store, with the signature Haggy’s wrapped chocolate candies prominently displayed straight ahead as you walk in. The Durst family also supports local Clintonville authors by displaying their books for customers to purchase when available.

Colonial Candy’s website states: We want to be a place where you can enjoy candy and be welcomed as a friend. A place that evokes memories and creates new ones. And we want to be a strong advocate for Clintonville. This is our home.

Feeling welcomed, I indulged as Durst had encouraged. All told, I broke my sugar fast with six pieces of delicious chocolate: two milk chocolate caramels, a chocolate-covered pecan, two coconut cream chocolates and one brownie cream chocolate. And I’ll be honest—it was pretty sweet.

Colonial Candy is located at 3519 N High St. in Clintonville

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Food & Drink

Shake a leg over over to Grandview’s newly-rebranded fried chicken joint

Regina Fox



Uncle Nick's Greek Fried Chicken is gone, but it will not be forgotten thanks to a new spinoff concept opening soon.

The Crispy Coop will open at 1717 Northwest Blvd in the former Acre location on Saturday, February 1. This new restaurant will continue to serve the award-winning chicken, as well as many new menu items including Nashville style hot chicken, chicken sandwiches, and all new homemade sides.

"We are so thankful for the past 5 years at Uncle Nick’s and are excited about our future," reads Crispy Coop's Facebook bio.

Uncle Nick's Greek Fried Chicken was located at 1333 Northwest Blvd. The new restaurant will allow for a "much better customer dining experience," according to the Facebook bio.

Tamo's Pizzeria will replace the former Uncle Nick's location.

For more information, visit The Crispy Coop's Facebook page.

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Food & Drink

“An iconic institution” joins the the North Market

614now Staff



Block's Bagels and Deli has served Central Ohio from its Bexley location since 1967. Now, the Central Ohio institution will offer its most popular classic offerings to shoppers in the North Market.

"Like a bagel with cream cheese, I believe North Market and Block's Bagels are a perfect pairing," said Block's owner Jeremy Fox in a statement. "We share similar core values and purpose, bringing community together through tradition, sustainability, and excellence. We are very happy to soon be able to call North Market home and look forward to expanding the new version of Block's Bagels."

Fox says the Block's Bagels at North Market will offer a full range of classic deli sandwiches, house made chicken, tuna, and egg salad; traditional deli sides such as dill potato salad, green apple slaw, and pickles; classic staples offered in the best New York delis: potato knishes, potato latkes, matzah ball soup; and everyone's favorite: black and white cookies.

"Since 1967, Block's has been and continues to be the most proper bagel and delicatessen in not just the Central Ohio area, but I would argue the entire Midwest," said North Market Executive Director Rick Harrison Wolfe. "Block's belongs in North Market and we welcome this iconic institution."

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Food & Drink

Exciting new announcement from local pizza chain

Mike Thomas



Big news for gluten-averse pizza fans in Central Ohio and beyond: Donatos has announced a new cauliflower crust.

"One taste and you will see. Donatos cauliflower crust pizzas taste like…Donatos pizzas," reads an announcement of the new menu option from the Columbus-based pizza chain.

Available for order with any of Donatos Signature or "create your own" pizzas, the 10" gluten-free cauliflower crust is said to have 30% fewer carbs than Donatos' traditional thin crust. The new option is now available for order at or through the Donatos mobile app.

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