Thursday, August 18, 2022

Destination: sweetsville

Confectionery, perhaps more than any other food category, lends itself to creative and nostalgic marketing. From packaging to commercials and social media content, confectionery brands know how to trigger our impulse for indulgence.

It’s no wonder these techniques are being used by standalone confectionery stores, allowing shoppers to experience a Wonka-esque world of pure imagination.

Tom’s revival

The iconic Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse in Brisbane has undergone a dramatic transformation and reopened under new management. The Warehouse was founded and run for four decades by Tom Jeanes, who sadly passed away last year. The business, which had lapsed without Mr Jeane’s onsite dedication, was put into liquidation. But local businessman and entrepreneur Adiel Ben-Karmona spotted an opportunity to rescue and revive the warehouse.

“When I heard the business was to be closed for good I couldn’t sit by and see this iconic store close down,” he says.

Mr Adiel Ben-Karmona brought his experience in hospitality (he is the head chef and owner of Pilpel restaurant and catering business) to transform the retail site into a destination. Following a $1.5 million renovation, the doors to the new and improved Tom’s Confectionery Warehouse opened in November 2021.

The revamped warehouse now features props including a 2.4m tall bear at the exit and an actual airplane suspended from the ceiling. The floors feature colourful paint flecks in black epoxy to look like lollies, while arcade machines, a coffee and ice cream bar and an outdoor space festooned with lights create a space to linger – not just shop.

“The inclusion of these as well as lights, smoke machine, lasers and sound system are all to create a sense of wonder and awe as you come to the store,” Mr Ben-Karmona says. “We wanted people to come and feel excited as they enter and to feel like they are visiting a really wonderful place.

New Barossa pitstop

Over in South Australia, Menz Confectionery (previously Robern Menz) recently opened the doors to its all-new FruChoc Shop flagship store. Located in Tanunda in the Barossa wine region, the store boasts a Great Wall of FruChocs, chocolate dripping walls, on-site handmade chocolate production, neon rainbows, and a unique wall mural “for #Instaworthy snaps”.

Local artist, Nicky Create, who is one of South Australia’s most recognised artists and is best known for her wall art murals including the butterfly wings at Argo on the Parade, was commissioned to design the wall mural which features three fun, fresh designs and took one week to create.

Menz Confectionery CEO Phil Sims says The FruChoc Shop gives tourists and residents a unique opportunity to experience one of SA’s favourite treats.

“SA is renowned for many things but the iconic pairing of this FruChoc flagship store and the Barossa wine region is so unique, you won’t experience anything like it anywhere else in the state.”

The shop concept, designed by local business Total Fitouts, is said to combine taste and experience. Lovers of Menz Confectionery other brands, including Violet Crumble, Bumbles, JeliChocs and Crown Mints, will also be able to get their hands on their favourite treats and a variety of gifting options while visiting store.

Mr Sims says the store marks new beginnings for the business, “with the fresh new look having the customer experience at the forefront to become our flagship store, including onsite chocolate production which will see visitors able to indulge in delicious handmade treats.”

For more confectionery news and insights, check out the January/February issue of Retail World.

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