This article was going to be primarily about a new candy shop in downtown Waynesville, Mo. More on that later.
But first, it’s intriguing how the shop’s landlord transformed a vacant lot with a new building that manages to sport an attractive but old-fashioned look.
It is Roubidoux Square at 115 N. Benton St. (map here), a short stone’s throw from Route 66 in the center of Waynesville. The brick-and-iron facade structure comes with a courtyard and a fountain. It contains five business tenants, with a sixth coming soon:
- Route 66 Candy Shoppe, which makes candy or sells old-fashioned brands.
- Just Because, a specialty store that carries Route 66 memorabilia.
- Roots 66 Barbershop, which offers old-fashioned straight-razor shaves and haircuts.
- The Sugar Shack … A California Cakery.
- Serenity Spa & Wellness Center.
The candy shop’s co-owner also said I Love Ice Cream will open within a month.
A recent article in the Waynesville Daily Guide reveals Roubidoux Plaza (named after the nearby river) is the brainchild of Ursula Lebioda and We Can Development. The company wisely wants to revamp older buildings and keep downtown’s quaint appearance.
With the vacant lot that was a Western Auto store, that wasn’t possible. But that doesn’t mean a new building to fill the space can’t have a classic look. It’s clear the owner had that in mind:
Lebioda said that the company decided on the name Roubidoux Plaza because they wanted to tribute the site to a historical, classic Waynesville favorite.
“We are proud of where we live and want to share a common name that’s a huge part of our town.”
Other city planners and developers should take note. Yes, old buildings should be preserved. But if that’s not possible, a new building should complement the appearance of a town from the Route 66 era. In my opinion, the folks who built Roubidoux Plaza are doing it right. Not only do you give suitable spaces for small businesses, but the look of the new building doesn’t look out of character from Waynesville’s historic downtown.
Back to the Route 66 Candy Shoppe. It’s decorated with old items from the farms of the co-owner’s parents and grandparents. According to a recent article in the Daily Guide:
“We were really going for an old-fashioned theme,” said Charley Dill, who co-owns the shop with Daniel Kallman. “We wanted it to be like Oleson’s Mercantile on ‘Little House on the Prairie.’”
That’s one goal Dill and Kallman definitely reached, with the small candy store having baskets of candy that look like they can from a different era, as well as glass bottles of coke, a seemingly endless variety of taffy, and an assortment of other items that many people haven’t seen in years.
A cotton candy machine, boxes of candy cigarettes, Bubble Tape, Moon Pies and wax lips are just a few of the other countless candy creations the shop owners sell.
Its website‘s slide show also will likely take you back. I saw images of Black Jack gum, Chase’s Cherry Mash, and GooGoo Clusters.