Quake vic­tims bring sweet busi­ness south

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By EMMA DAWE

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.

Photo: EMMADAWE

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.

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