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Candy store, theater: the perfect fit

Jenna Beemer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Lakeshore Drive in Muskegon is chockfull of small businesses that support the community, and for local business connoisseurs, it is like being a kid in a candy store.

And if one visits Lakeside Emporium, he will literally be in a candy store.

Lakeside Emporium has been in Muskegon for 14 years. Husband and wife owners, Gary and Loreen Samples, said they are happy their business is located in Muskegon; in fact, they could not imagine it any other way.

“No question, Muskegon is my hometown; it was where we lived, and my family has been in business in Muskegon since 1930,” Loreen said. “We love the area and could not imagine our business anywhere else.”

She said her favorite part of owning the candy store is not the delicious treats: “The best part is the getting to know the people in the area,” Loreen said.

Students who frequent the store enjoy the relationship they have built with the owners.

“I love to go to the Emporium because of the family environment,” freshman Connor Fritz said. “Every time we go in the store, they greet us by our names. They ask if we are getting the same thing as before. I just love how much they care about their customers.”

The Lakeside Emporium has a wide variety of old-fashioned candy, chocolates crafted at the Emporium, a large selection of sodas, ice cream, slushies, and about any sweet treat one can imagine.

“Every time I go into the shop, I always go straight to the cooler section and pick out a glass Root Beer,” Fritz said. “After that, I go and ask the person that is working what their favorite candy is and then get that. It’s always different but amazing.”

The uniqueness to the layout and store itself is one reason Fritz is a regular customer.

“(I like) to look at all of the different kinds of candy in the jars,” Fritz said. “It gives me that kind of old-school vibe instead of the candy section at Meijers that is bulk.”

After a trip to the candy store, it is the perfect opportunity to catch a movie at the Harbor Theater directly across the street from Lakeside Emporium.

“I like the Harbor Theater because it’s cheaper than any other theater in the area, it is local, and it maintains the same quality as the theaters that cost more money,” senior Julia Kwapiszewski said.

This theater, which opened in 1921, is a Muskegon classic. Ticket prices for the theater range from $6-$9 and include a small popcorn with every ticket purchased.

“They play the top current movies, so it is a good idea to check there before reverting to other theaters in the area,” Kwapiszewski said.“They also often play reruns of classics.”

The movies shown can be unique and the events hosted at the theater cater to the locals.

“They often have events that make the movie they are playing that much more enjoyable,” Kwapiszewski said. “The Harbor Theater hosted a Rocky Horror picture night that included a costume contest, props used by the audience that were used to make the movie a more interactive experience (such as squirt guns to spray in the scene when they are out in the pouring rain), and an environment that brought everyone together in the wild experience that is Rocky Horror.”

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