Hercules Patch stopped into one of the unique small businesses in Hercules to see what it's all about. We found Jack Reynolds, owner of and chatted him up. He relocated his shop from Berkeley after he moved to Hercules.
This is what he had to say about his store and how he got into the business.
How long have you been here?
"Almost a year and a half."
How would you describe what you offer here?
"First of all, I'm the first and only candy store in Hercules. We are a candy-gift shop, old-fashioned candy store. We also carry a lot of other gifts, like 3-D wooden puzzles and tin toys and magnets. I carry soaps and bath salts imported from France. In general we want to be that one-stop shop for Hercules so we're always looking into expanding and adding those products that people are looking for."
What were you doing before this and how did you get into this business?
"I did retail for a lot of years. I'm a baker by trade. I've been doing this for six and a half years. I actually had this in Berkeley for five years. Part of the business is a franchise, we sell the candy bouquets. The candy store is our own spin to add to that."
How difficult or how easy was it to make the transition from Berkeley to Hercules?
"Pretty easy. In fact, if anything I get more business here than in Berkeley. I love Berkeley, I grew up there. But they're a little bit more health-conscious there. A lot of people in Berkeley don't want artificial colors or flavors or anything that's not local... so it can sometimes be a hard sell for this type of product.
I'm a diabetic. I was a diabetic before I owned this business. But everything is about moderation. But Berkeley, they kind of take that to the extreme."
You plan to do this as long as you can?
"Yeah, I would love to do this forever. I'd love to be Hercules' candy shop forever. I need considerable more business for that to happen. I enjoy it. I wouldn't have tried it for five years in one place and moved it to another location if I didn't like getting up and going to work in the morning."
What do you like about Hercules?
"I like the smaller community, my commute has dropped down to virtually nothing. I have a three-minute drive to work. It's a quiet community, I like it."
Jack's Candy Bag is at 1511 Sycamore Ave. Suite F.