Quake victims bring sweet business south
They’ve overcome big obstacles during the past few years, including the Canterbury earthquakes, so a small hiccup like a power cut wasn’t going to stop Cromwell couple David and Anne Withell from realising their dream on Saturday.
The couple, who moved from Christchurch to Cromwell at the end of last year after they were forced to close their fudge business, opened their new business, Hansel and Gretel’s Sweet Shop, in the Cromwell Mall on Saturday.
Mr Withell said they were delighted to be able to finally open their shop and even a temporary power cut on opening day, which resulted in them losing several weeks worth of work from their computer, didn’t dampen their excitement.
The couple are well-known for their Prestige Fudge range, and prior to the Canterbury earthquakes, their business, which was located in the heart of Christchurch, was bringing in more than $1500 a day in fudge sales.
However, after the earthquakes, business all but dried up due to the loss in foot traffic, and the couple were forced to close and relocate.
They travelled to Central Otago in November and fell in love with Cromwell where they found premises so they could begin making their fudge again.
However, they faced another setback when an investor pulled the pin on financing a refit of the building after the work had been completed, leaving them with a huge bill and no means to pay the contractors. But they were determined to carry on their business and pay everything they owed, with the opening of their lolly shop the first step towards achieving that.
Mr Withell said due to overwhelming positive feedback they decided to open the new shop, which was similar to the shop they had in Christchurch.
As well as their popular fudge range, other sweet treats on offer include candy floss, lollies, handmade chocolate fudge bars, American hotdogs and hot liquid fudge, which was Mr Withell’s own creation.
Fresh start: Hansel and Gretel’s Sweet Shop owners David and Anne Withell have opened their new shop in the Cromwell Mall.
Over: Angela Cahill (left) andGemma McNeish among toys destined for Teviot Valley Educare.