By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(July 2, 2020) Dolle’s Candyland co-owner Anna Dolle Bushnell hopes to expand the business by opening its first Berlin location soon at the former PNC Bank building at 1 S. Main Street Unit B.
Rayne’s Reef owner Michael Queen owns the building and is renting to Dolle’s.
Bushnell, who runs four Dolle’s stores in Ocean City, said she knew instantly when visiting the Berlin property in December that it would be the future site of the candy shop.
With less than 500 square feet, the shop will not manufacture any products on site.
“It’ll be on a much smaller scale, but yes, we’ll have all of our top products,” Bushnell said.
Popcorn will be sold in tubs, but customers can purchase loose gummies, taffy or chocolates.
The candy apples will only be available at the West Ocean City, Boardwalk and 67th Street locations.
“We also felt that being a 110-year-old candy business with so much cool history behind us that we could build out a store that almost felt like it had been in Berlin forever,” Bushnell said.
An opening date has yet to be announced.
“We signed a lease in December, we started to get the permits and everything kind of rolling in February and got to the point … where our contractors had ordered everything from the floors to the cabinetry and the candy cases,” Bushnell said.
Then, the coronavirus brought the project to a standstill.
Before the pandemic, Bushnell had hoped to open in mid-April.
“With covid and everything, we’ve been really struggling with staffing,” Bushnell said. “Not necessarily the 14- and 15-year-olds, but management.”
Bushnell added that she is aiming to hire two to four employees for the Berlin location.
“I fully intend on working the shop myself as well so I can learn the customer base and what people are looking for,” she said.
The next step to open the shop is to obtain all necessary permits from the Worcester County Health Department.
“We’re working on getting all the proper sinks put in,” Bushnell added.
She is also planning to build out shelving.
Bushnell said she is not in a hurry to open the store based on the season.
“I believe the reception is going to be great whether I open two weeks from now or whether I open August or September,” she said. “I don’t want to rush into things, but I think because Berlin is such a neat little market, I think that whenever we open it’s going to be good.”