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Wockenfuss Candies moving into new Parkville home

How sweet it is. That’s what neighbors in Parkville are saying now that the new Wockenfuss Homemade Candies has opened in an abandoned discount outlet near Northern Parkway and Chesley Avenue. A small U.S. Post Office is also stationed in the back of the store. “We have had customers coming in the whole time from the neighborhood,” said owner Paul Wockenfuss on Wednesday, reporting on business in the first week. “I think the neighborhood was in great fear that this was going to be a nightclub. “When they found out it was a candy story, they were just thrilled.” Walking in, patrons are greeted by the trays of foil-covered Santas, and snowmen are stacked neatly next to chocolate covered nuts, cherries and maple crèmes. Truffles with decorative tops line the counter, alongside candy canes, gummy bears and jelly beans. The 24,000-square-foot brick building is double the size of the old Wockenfuss Candies store on Belair Road, about a mile away. The truffles, assorted chocolates, dipped nuts, and other delights will continue to be made at the Belair Road plant through Christmas, he said, because of the holiday crush. Early next year, though, the yummy chocolates will be made in the new plant, located in ample space behind the storefront. Wockenfuss makes about 160,000 pounds of candy each year. The confectioner also has stores in Bel Air, White Marsh, Columbia and Ocean City. The store started in 1915 when Charles Herman Wockenfuss first made candies in a small kitchen in Baltimore. His son, Herman, sold candies from a rowhouse at 5420 Belair Rd. beginning in 1946. He made the sweets in the basement, Wockenfuss said. A storefront was opened there in 1956. Now comes the big expansion. Wockenfuss, who took over the business 12 years ago, has three daughters who are all involved as well, making the business a charming four-generation legacy. He said Wednesday that he had searched for a bigger space for a decade and was delighted to find an available, vacant building close to the current shop, which is closed. He expressed his loyalty to his Baltimore roots. “I wanted to stay in the city,” he explained. “The city has about 600,000 people -- a tremendous market. And the city’s been good to us.” The doors open each weekday at 8 a.m. – and, yes, that includes the post office – a novelty these days when other branches open at 11 a.m.

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