By Olivia DeSmit
Nellie Murphy has something better than the Golden Ticket. And, unlike the characters in Willy Wonka, she already knew what “marvelous surprises” awaited her when she took over as owner at Sweet Freaks Chocolates.
The candy shop, 9927 S. Wood St., has been serving the community confectionary concoctions since its founding in 2013 by Murphy’s father, Patrick Murphy.
Murphy, who took over as owner in March, said her new position makes her appreciate all the work her parents put in over the years. “Even though I was part of that work, growing up in the store, being in charge gives you a new perspective of what it takes to own a small business and keep it open and successful,” she says. “My dad did a great job of getting me involved in everything from a young age, but I’m definitely learning a lot now, too.”
And also unlike Roald Dahl’s portrayal, a day in Murphy’s life doesn’t involve golden goose eggs or snozzberries.
“My average day involves working with the team and my manager to delegate tasks, make candy, communicate with customers — that kind of thing,” she said. However, she is excited to be the one keeping Sweet Freaks open. “I’m excited to continue to be involved in the community,” she said.
Sweet Freaks was closed for the month of July for renovations, and will re-open in August with a new feel.
“I have a modern, trendy vision for the shop,” Murphy said. But, regulars need not worry. Murphy said she plans to keep some of the old look by including posters from art walks and festivals of years past.
The look of Sweet Freaks is all that will change.
“Having been open we know what products work and what doesn’t,” she said. “We don’t need to introduce a lot of new products, except for seasonally.”
As fall approaches, customers can look forward to delicious, or rather scrumdidilyumptious, pumpkin-flavored sweets.