BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Hand-dipped chocolate goodies, retro candies, glass bottles of soda and brightly colored gummy candies line the walls of Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candy.
At the corner of East Wayne and Conant streets, customers are welcomed into an expanded two-room store filled with hundreds of treats. While there, shop co-owner Jason Peters can help customers find the perfect treat for themselves or someone special in their lives.
“We have a lot of fun areas in here. Our chocolates are the highlight,” Jason said. “We have ice cream, and our retro candy is good, too. We also have foreign candy. I try to have a little selection of everything.”
Patrons can also find a vegan section and popcorn among other treats. The store has expanded selections recently to include puzzles and stuffed animals, too. The owners try to include the kinds of items customers might like and will do well to gift to others, Jason said.
Gifts are a big part of the sales at Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candy and the shop is quickly approaching its busiest day of the year for gifts. After Christmas, the small shop – which usually employs three people full time – begins the Valentine’s Day prep.
“As soon as Christmas is over, we’re already thinking about the numbers,” Jason said. “Some of the stuff you can make ahead of time. We just start plugging away with it as soon as we can. The strawberries we make fresh every day, so the only thing we can do to get ready for that is come in real early.”
Jason said the store typically expands its crew for Valentine’s Day, bringing in family and friends to help make hundreds of chocolate-dipped strawberries, one of their most important Valentine’s Day items. Strawberries are made fresh each day and have become very important to the customers.
“One of the questions we get a lot is ‘Do I have to order the tub of strawberries in advance?’ They worry we’re going to run out,” Jason said. “In the 10 years we’ve owned the store, we’ve never run out. We have a ton. You can just walk in and grab them.”
For the holiday, customers can also choose an assortment of chocolates or have Jason pick them out instead. There’s a treat perfect for everyone in the shop.
The shop isn’t just good for holidays and gifts, though. Jason said he’s received several calls from kids seeking out candies they’ve seen on social media, like TikTok challenges.
“They end up being the hottest items,” Jason said. “Some of the things we get multiple calls a day for. When we find them, the kids are so happy.”
Doing what they can to make their customers happy is the main goal of Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candy’s employees. When the current owners took over the shop more than a decade ago, they had taken a chance on a community they didn’t know.
“The business was existing, and we bought it from someone who only had it for about a year,” Jason said. “It was a great opportunity where we were just like, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ We quit our jobs and moved to Ohio.”
They were quickly embraced by the residents. They had no idea how friendly and supportive the people of Maumee would be to them, Jason said.
“I love the people of Maumee,” Jason said. “They go out of their way to promote us. They’ll mention us on their Facebook and tell their friends. It’s pretty neat.”
Whether customers are seeking items for the upcoming holiday or as a special treat for themselves, Jason is grateful they come to the shop in uptown Maumee for their needs. He knows several customers have made it a tradition to support the local shop and buy their treats from the two Jasons at Maumee Valley Chocolate and Candy.
Jason Peters co-owns the shop with Jason Sieminski. The two switched up their lives more than a decade ago to sell chocolates and other treats to Maumee residents and they hope to continue this for many more years.
Customers can visit them at 101 E. Wayne St. from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. They can also call (419) 893-2388 or visit the website at valleycandy.com.