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Route 66 News

New Berwyn business inspired by Route 66 trip

A toy and candy shop in Berwyn, Ill., exists because of the inspiration Route 66 gave to owner Tracy Balnis, according to a news release from the Berwyn Development Corp.

Rissi’s Old Time Candy & Toys, located on 6834 W. Windsor Ave. in Berwyn’s Depot District less than a half-mile north of Ogden (Route 66), opened in December but held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting just a few weeks ago.

In addition to selling vintage candy and toys, it offers hand-made chocolates, coffee drinks, Filbert’s draft sodas, and shaved ice. In a nod to the modern era, it also offers free wi-fi.

The Berwyn Development Corp. explained how Rissi’s came to be:

During a Route 66 road trip in June 2012, Tracy’s nostalgia inspired her to open the store. As she hopped along the historic Mother Road, it brought back fond memories of her old neighborhood and when she and her friends would scrape together change so they could buy and share bags of candy. As she continued her tour, she came across a series of “little miracles” that started with an antique gumball machine and turned into a collection of unique décor items that now adorns Rissi’s. She felt that anytime she had an idea for an item, it would cross her path. Much of her décor was found through antiquing and bargain hunting. The most recent example is the addition of her newly added shaved ice machine, which she was able to find gently used.

Rissi’s also has a Facebook page here.

(Image of the Rissi’s ribbon-cutting ceremony courtesy of Berwyn Development Corp.)

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