Today’s stop on the Western New York tour is Kelly’s Country store. Located on Grand Island Boulevard, near Long Road, in the Town of Grand Island, the store is housed in a building that looks like an old barn.
Not only does that building look like an old barn, it actually actually is an old barn. Back in 1962, the barn was set to be torn down elsewhere on the island. The original owners of Kelly’s Country Store, Walt and Mike Kelly, actually took the building apart and rebuilt it at its current location.
Before they set roots down on Grand Island, they were traveling around and selling their goods at various fairs and festivals. Once they moved into the old barn, they had found a home. The home that they created is huge. When you walk inside, you see bins full of candies and chocolates, which are made on site. And it looks like a regular-sized store. Then you walk back and back, through room after room. It’s almost as if the building is bigger on the inside than the outside, sort of like Doctor Who’s TARDIS.
The building can’t travel anywhere in time, unlike the TARDIS, but it does take you back to a time when you could walk into a store and buy penny candy.
People love to talk about the penny candy era. It’s probably because, now, good chocolate is a real splurge.
But sometimes, you’ve got to do it. Splurge on chocolate, that is. You know, mental health food and all that.
So anyway, Kelly’s Country Store is a fun place to visit at any time of the year. In the spring, you can stop in there and get chocolates for Easter.
In December, you can enjoy the Christmas decorations. They are very colorful and they look like the past come to life.
Make sure to bring the kids because, in the darkest room of the building (wait, that’s not dark; it is atmosphere!), Santa sits on his throne, ready to listen to the requests of children for anything that their hearts desire.
But Christmas time isn’t when Santa first comes to Kelly’s Country Store. After all, the north pole can be awfully cold and Santa isn’t so young anymore.
His hands get really icy and his toes shiver. So he comes to visit in October when no one expects to see Santa.
He has been coming regularly to the fall festival that Kelly’s Country Store has run for the past four years.
He likes to see the kids and the pumpkins and the old one-room schoolhouse that has become a museum of sorts. But what he especially likes is finding delicious food at one of the food trucks that offers meals.
Come to Kelly’s Country Store for the chocolate and for Santa and stay for the fun.