Surry Business

For and about business in Surry County, N.C., including Dobson, Elkin, Lowgap, Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy

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Quisinberrys make Surry County a sweeter place

December 28th, 2007 · No Comments

Carolyn Quesinberry taught schoolchildren for 27 years. Her husband, Freddie, owned a floor-covering business. They both were looking for something new. They found it in a place they’d left 20 years earlier — Mount Airy.

And thanks to the Quisinberrys, you can find the sweetest place in Surry County on Main Street across from the Downtown Cinema, just up the block from the Snappy Lunch, right next to Floyd’s Barber Shop.

The Quisinberrys own and operate Opie’s Candy Store, a popular shop where tourists and locals alike stock up on old-fashioned candies, soda pop and sweet memories of the past and for the future.

Reporter Geni Dowd profiled the couple and their business in The Surry Messenger on Dec. 19.

“When the Quesinberrys moved away from Mount Airy in 1987, the town was ‘still Mount Airy.’ When they came back in 2004,” Dowd wrote, “it had completely changed. ‘It was a tourist town and had become known for being Mayberry,’ Freddie said. ‘We wanted to have a business that would fit in with what Mount Airy had become.'”

“There wasn’t that much thought,” Carolyn told Dowd with a laugh. “When we saw the building he said, ‘What about Opie’s Candy Store?’”

“People had bets on us,” Freddie continued. “They’d say, ‘A candy store? In Mount Airy?’ They said we’d never make it. ”

Opie’s opened in March 2005. It’s still going strong, banking goodwill along with profits.

“Mount Airy is such a friendly town,” Freddie explained. “You don’t realize it if you’ve always been here. You don’t realize it until you’ve moved away. It really is Mayberry. It’s a trusting town. Everyone’s first impression is to be open and friendly with everyone they meet.”

They’ve both seen customers help pay for someone else’s order or slide a couple of bucks across the counter when a child doesn’t have quite enough cash.

“That’s just the attitude here,” Freddie said. “There’s not necessarily a lot to do here for people in their 20s, but it’s such a great place to raise a family.”

“People come here the first time to see Mayberry, but they come back three or four times because they’ve fallen in love with Mount Airy,” he told Dowd. “They want to move here when they retire. It’s like a fairy-tale town.”

Opie’s Candy Store stocks 500 types of candy plus jams, jellies, ice cream, apple butter, honey and bottled soft drinks.

Laura Marshall is the store’s manager. You sometimes find the couple’s children working in the store, too.

Opie’s Candy Store at 135 N. Main is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store extends its hours from May through December. During the warmer months it also opens on Sunday afternoons.

Tags: Businesses

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