Luci and Carl’s Candy Cabin

Sunday-Friday 11 AM - 6 PM | Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM
Luci and Carl’s Candy Cabin

Jennifer Shorter has always harbored a dream of owning a candy store. While Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts has stocked candy since its inception, it has never been a primary focus. About 15 years ago, Jennifer introduced a candy cart towards the back of the store, reminiscent of those seen in outdoor shopping fairs—a vintage-style vendor cart, painted white with a blue and white striped awning. Laden with an array of candies, the cart proved challenging to manage and was eventually replaced with other merchandise before being sold. Nonetheless, Jennifer’s dream persisted. On her travels, she would often explore stores and seek inspiration online.

Jennifer at the Candy Cabin

During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the space occupied by Trapper’s Cabin, a previous store, was closed to the public, and was repurposed as a shipping and receiving department. One day, in conversation with her brother, Ryan, Jennifer expressed her disappointment that the perfect space for her candy store hadn’t become available on Lake Street. Ryan suggested utilizing the Trapper’s Cabin space. When she balked at all of the redecorating work that would have to be done, he reminded her that she could retain its cozy cabin ambiance while pursuing her candy store dream. “Ryan told me to call it “The Candy Cabin,” and get moving on it,” Jennifer recalls. She put that name on a yellow sticky note above her desk, right where she could see it several times a day. Keeping the cabin decor intact, complete with a stone fireplace, log walls, and wood floors, and also making it into a Willy Wonka type dream of a candy store, enabled Jennifer to keep the candy store dream alive.

Motivated by the opportunity to apply for a grant, Jennifer meticulously outlined her thoughts and ideas in a business plan during the winter of 2023, and even painted out what the outside would look like. In September 2023, Luci and Carl’s Candy Cabin opened its doors. As a tribute to her brother’s contribution to the concept, she included his children’s names in the business name, following the tradition of naming stores in the Shorter family after family members.

To realize her vision for the candy store, Jennifer enlisted the expertise of local artist Abby Kent. Abby painted the ceiling to resemble a taffy pull, added columns resembling stick candy, and designed the logo, bringing Jennifer’s dream to life. She also created the large candy pieces that outline the outside of the store’s windows.

Luci & Carl’s Candy Cabin contains classic candies, chocolates, Jelly Belly, trendy freeze-dried candy, and everything in-between. There’s candy by the pound, taffy by the bag or the pound, and so much more.

The store is located at 209 Petoskey Street, downtown Petoskey. The store has its own entrance, and also a set of stairs from inside Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts.