Candy Company, Saratoga Sweets to Join Forces
By Arthur Gonick
SARATOGA SPRINGS – To paraphrase Reese’s, Saratoga County will soon have two great tastes that taste great together!
That’s because the owner and co-founder of Halfmoon-based Saratoga Sweets, Mike Fitzgerald, recently decided to step back from day-to-day operations after 26 years. The creator of the iconic, beloved “Peppermint Pig” is turning over the reins to son Mike, Jr.
It was announced this week that Saratoga Sweets will shortly combine forces with the 17-year old Candy Company of Saratoga Springs, which was founded by local entrepreneur Dawn Oesch. The new entity will be called Saratoga Sweets Candy Co., retaining The Candy Company’s current retail location at 5 Washington Street, Saratoga Springs.
The two company’s operations will merge, with an expanded area inside the nearby Rip Van Dam Hotel at 353 Broadway, where Fitzgerald, Jr. will head up a new candy kitchen that will be housed in this space. Meanwhile, Oesch will continue operations at 5 Washington Street with a refreshed look to accompany an expanded product line. Commenting on the forthcoming expansion and working with Saratoga Sweets, Oesch stated:
“This is a great addition to my store and I am so excited. My landlord, Bruce Levinsky (owner of both 5 Washington and the Rip Van Dam) has created a larger space for us to make more delectable creations and to carry on Saratoga Sweets traditions. As time moves on we will see what space may be needed to expand and we will grow from there.”
The Rip Van Dam is also currently the home of an expanded Maestro’s at the Van Dam restaurant, which Oesch noted has a pastry kitchen. This could further help expand the new company’s product line further as the occasion arises.
A target launch date for the newly merged operation has been ambitiously pegged at Jan. 25 “just in time for the busy Valentine season,” Oesch noted. “We are hoping (by that date) to have everything meshed together including a wholesale division, new website and overhaul of both the retail and kitchen spaces.”