Find old-fashioned candy and fun at Rissi's Old Time Candy Store in Berwyn


By Liz DeCarlo

Senior Editor

Walking into Rissi's Old Time Candy & Toys in Berwyn is like stepping into the past. With its 10-cent gumballs, wax lips and candy buttons, many parents come in just to show their children how things were when they were kids.

Owner Tracy Balnis opened the store in December after taking a roadtrip along Route 66. She loved the old-time stores and, after buying an antique gumball machine for $10 at one of them, she decided to open her own store. "As I kept going to more places, I'd find inspiration of how I would set up a store," she says.
Rissi's sells nostalgic candy, toys and Filbert's old-time draft sodas. Candy is priced by the piece or weight, so visitors can pick and choose a selection without spending much.
"It's so inspiring to see the kids come in with a dollar and they're excited because things are 10 cents, 15 cents, 25 cents," Balnis says. "They love it."
Balnis hopes the shop, with a pink and white checkered floor and vintage table and chairs, becomes a place for people to gather over draft sodas and shaved ice like in the old days. Decked out in her vintage-style bright red apron, Balnis herself looks like she walked right out of a candy store of old. But don't be fooled, she's a tech-savvy businesswoman who would be lost without her iPad.
The only hitch in her plan involves her children.
Balnis, who has nine children ranging from 24 to 3 years old, originally thought the store would be a place where the kids could hang out and help. "They love it, but all they want to do is eat the candy," she says. "Now I leave them home with my oldest."



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