Schwietert’s Cones & Candy: Reinvigorating a family business
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy takes nostalgic candies to another level, thanks to Jeff Schwietert’s vision for growth.
First opened in September of 1985 by husband-and-wife team Wayne and Barbara Schwietert, Schwietert’s Cones & Candy is a Pacific Northwest institution located in Cannon Beach, Ore. The Schwieterts’ children all were involved in the business at an early age with youngest child, Jeff Schwietert, taking on an ownership role in 2004.
Schwietert’s Cones & Candy specializes in old-fashioned favorites such as retro sodas, homemade fudge, saltwater taffy and other sweet delicacies that attract both young and old. The candy shop’s décor emphasizes a fun and delicious atmosphere, with a boardwalk and gumball-filled pillars greeting owners to a candy land of wonders.
Jeff changed the name of the business to Schwietert’s Cones & Candy and set his sights on franchising it in order to greatly expand its old-fashioned sweets to a much bigger audience. The company now offers turnkey franchise opportunities in 23 states, enabling small business owners the chance to operate a fun and profitable business in their own community. Through a partnership with Francorp, Jeff ensures franchisees can benefit from the expertise of the world’s leading franchise development firm that has aided more than 2,000 companies in expanding into franchising.
Every franchise makes its own fudge, caramel apples and cheese popcorn on site and offers up to 40 different regionally popular flavors of ice cream. Jeff describes a Schwietert’s franchise as a unique business opportunity simply because of the amount of fun and satisfaction that comes with selling a delicious product that results in happy customers.
Jeff ensures each franchise represents the commitment to quality and the history of the original store, with the goal of creating a memorable experience for each customer. He promotes Schwietert’s Cones & Candy as a recession-proof business that succeeds because of its fundamental appeal to people’s sweet tooth and its ability to bring smiles to everyone who visits the store.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
Sea foam, because it is my favorite candy and the first thing I learned to make; plus it is our own unique recipe. It is a sponge candy that we can coat in either milk, white or dark chocolate.
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
Issues that concern me most are supplies and pricing.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I wanted to be a zoologist or anything to do with animals.
What’s the last book you read?
To be honest, with everything I have going on, the reading I do consistently includes e-news, industry publications, such as Candy Industry Magazine, as well as occasional business and self-enhancement books.
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
Dylan Lauren. She is a creative trendsetter that I believe has revolutionized candy as an art form that is inspirational.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My dad always used to say that people are not like machines, when they break down you cannot simply fix or replace them. Meaning you have to be careful with people. They can be broken, and if you don’t take proper care of them they can break beyond repair.
What excites you most about your job?
The creative people I get to work with.