OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – More than 800 businesses are partners with the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce. Today, a new candy store, with the goal of building bridges between cultures, joined the ranks. The store brings authentic Latin American treats to Ogden.
Dozens of people counted down from five as Flor Lopez and Rocio Miguel used a giant pair of scissors to cut a black and gold ribbon in front of Little Rainbow Candy Store on Friday afternoon. The sweet show of support was a sure sign that the grand opening of the new shop was a success.
“We drove to Salt Lake to find the right piñata and quality candy, and I said, ‘No, this is crazy! I spend more money on gas,’” Lopez stated.
Early last year, Lopez and Miguel, who have been close friends for the last five years, could not find the supplies they needed to throw their children a party without having to travel out of Ogden. While pointing to Miguel, Lopez added: “She said, ‘Let’s open up a candy store.’ ‘Are you serious?’ ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”
The ladies both grew up in Mexico. Miguel has lived in Ogden for 20 years and Lopez has called the city home for the last seven years. Both have been involved in work with the Suazo Business Center as well as the Community Leaders Network with the Ogden Civic Action Network. Their involvement in these organizations helped them develop an understanding of what it takes to run a business in Utah. Lopez added, “And that’s why we’re successful today.”
Their dream to open a candy shop began last April. The two wanted to share the treats they grew up eating in Mexico. They also wanted the community to be involved. After posting a poll on social media, the two set out to find a number of American candies from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
As they prepared to open their business, they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. “Everyone showed up here and said, ‘What can we do for you? We can paint, we can do the food, we can help you set up, we can do inventory,’” Lopez stated.
Not only did they want to bring the sweet tastes of Mexico to Ogden, but they wanted their shop to be a place that made it possible for people to become more familiar with common snacks, treats and traditions from across Latin America. Miguel told ABC4 that the store already has treats from Peru, Columbia, Venezuela and other countries.
“We love our community,” Lopez said. “We love Ogden, obviously, and we want to share our culture and, at the same time, other cultures.”
The store is located at 3201 Washington Blvd. For those familiar with Ogden, this is the site of the former Vacuum Exchange. It was a business that called the city home for nearly seven decades. The building has a long history of being a place that provides services to the public. Lopez and Miguel are working to get the building on the historical registry. They also plan to continue modernizing the building while keeping the edifice true to its original form. They hope the community will appreciate the work they are doing to preserve a piece of local history while giving it new life.