The current location of the C Shop was once occupied by Meador’s Resort, as shown in this 1950s photograph. Birch Bay residents Patrick and Patricia Alesse now own the building from which they’ve operated their candy store and restaurant for 40 years.
Every five years or so, C Shop owner Patricia Alesse says she has to ward off rumors of a closure.
Although she and her husband Patrick have never considered selling their shop on the corner of Alderson and Birch Bay Drive, the two are flattered to receive so many phone calls from customers worried about them leaving.
“We even read it in a Bellingham publication, and we had to call them and ask for a retraction,” she said. “Still, it’s kind of fun that people care about it so much and they want it to continue. That the community supports us makes us feel like we do a pretty good job.”
Not only will the doors remain open, the couple will celebrate the shop’s 40th anniversary this weekend with a sale on selected traditional candies at 1971 prices. That includes limited quantities of traditional penny candies, cotton candy, caramel corn, snowcones, caramel suckers, caramel corn and white chocolate “dreams” in their original 1971 size. Sale candies will vary by hour, but penny candies will be available in limited quantities all day long.
The shop will also serve regular items from its bakery and pizza shop, which features an antique 1916 Edison electric brick oven, homemade bread made from wheat ground on-site and freshly roasted coffee.
A drawing will be held for a five-pound chocolate bunny, and every 10th customer will receive a free Peanut Butter Yumm.
The Alesses opened the C Shop after moving to Blaine in 1964 from Puyallup. They both have degrees in education and worked as teachers.
The couple started the shop in the old Shore Acres Resort, now known as Jacob’s Landing, to supplement the family’s income. At the time, it was only open in the summers. In 1979, they moved the business to its present location on Alderson Road.
They are working on handing over the business to their son Keith, a Western Washington University graduate, and his partner Saara Kuure.
“It’s been a long run,” Patricia said. “We’re glad Keith and Saara are involved so we can keep it going forever, but we don’t have to keep doing it forever.”
The C Shop is located at 4825 Alderson Road and can be reached by calling 360/371-2070 or visiting www.thecshop.com.