By Janee Law
When walking into Kilwins, customers often light up as take in the assortment of fudge, candy and ice cream that the store offers, said co-owner Susan Hirschfeld.
“It works really well because you can have a whole group of people come in and everybody is getting a little something different,” said Hirschfeld, 56, who co-owns the store Jacob Hirschfeld. “If you can please everybody, then that’s the key.”
If what the store offers wasn’t enough to draw customers in, Kilwins displays the magic behind the counter via its front window, which gives a sneak peek into the making of nut brittles, caramel corns, candy apples and batches of fudge and caramel, which are made in copper pots.
Hirschfeld said that, for caramel in particular, the process takes a long time but “it’s worth it” in the end.
“It’s hard work and a little labor intensive, but we come out with a really beautiful product,” she said.
Open 12 hours a day, Hirschfeld said the sweet shop can make up to 40 pounds of fudge and 100 candy apples in one day to last the week.
“The days are long, but, for the most part, it’s a very upbeat place to be,” Hirschfeld, of Huntington, said.
Hirschfeld said their Mackinac Island fudge, with flavors like French silk, toasted coconut and sea-salt caramel, is hand-paddled, made the old fashion way
“The original recipe is from northern Michigan and we still do it the way they did years ago,” Hirschfeld said.
After the business was started in 1947 by Don and Katy Kilwin, its booming success lead to the opening of nine storefronts across the country. The Huntington village location at 293 Main Street opened in April 2013.
“It seemed like a model that would work well in Huntington,” Hirschfeld said. “It’s a high quality product in an area where people really appreciate that. The village has a great reputation and it’s a perfect fit.”
Hirschfeld said she tries to keep Huntington’s historical authenticity withinthe approximately 1,200-square-foot shop, while carrying what Kilwins believes in, quality service.
“Now we’re starting the beginning of our fourth year and I’ve never felt better about it,” Hirschfeld said. “Every season gets even stronger so we’re very happy.”
With the spring season blooming and Kilwins 32 flavors of ice cream on full display, Hirschfeld expects ice cream cravers to be in full force as the weather gets warmer.
That’s always fun, she said.
“I like the ice cream season because there’s a lot of people coming and going,” she said. “Truck loads of little kids come by and I love walking out back to see every table taken.”
293 Main Street