The C Shop reopened May 7 after closing its doors in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Many familiar, masked faces visited the nearly 50-year-old shop at 4825 Alderson Road throughout the afternoon, all of whom were excited to see their local chocolate factory let in more than five randomly selected kids.
“Glad to see you back open,” a man said, pushing a stroller carrying his son out the front door, each with an ice cream cone in hand.
Since closing last year, the Birch Bay staple had been taking online orders that customers could pick up outside the shop or have mailed. But now, with changes that include the shop rearranged to have separate entrance and exit doors, The C Shop is ready to reopen.
The shop is open weekends, Friday through Sunday from 1 to 8 p.m, but hasn’t finalized summer hours.
The C Shop will celebrate 50 years of selling sweets to the community of Birch Bay this June. Patrick and Patricia Alesse originally opened the shop on June 26, 1971 where the Jacobs Landing condominiums are now on Birch Bay Drive. After eight years, they moved to their current location on Alderson Road.
Since then, the Alesse’s eldest son Keith and his partner Saara Kuure have taken over the family business. But Patricia can still be seen either working at the shop, and Patrick dropping by, especially on the shop’s first day open in over a year.
Keith said they were still getting things back together during their first weekend.
The C Shop makes special holiday chocolates, like chocolate-covered wine jell and chocolate heart boxes for Valentine’s Day, and of course, chocolate bunnies for Easter.
Some of the C Shop original specials include peanut butter yumm’s, which are white chocolate-covered peanut butter bars, and C-foam, a chocolate-covered combination of cornstarch and brown sugar. When shopping at the store, it’s easy to tell which chocolates are The C Shop originals because they have yellow labels, while those made by other chocolatiers have a white label.
The shop is no longer making pizza or sandwiches, and currently doesn’t have espresso. Along with chocolates and cinnamon rolls, they have other bakery items, popcorn, snow cones and ice cream.
Patrick briefly popped into the shop to see reopening day. “Keith has done an amazing job getting this place reopened,” he said.
“It wasn’t just me. I couldn’t have done it without them,” Keith said gesturing to his employees behind the counter, busy helping customers.”