Way back in July of 2013 I went to Maurie’s candy store in Pekin to do a post for MBIP. I got there and there was two ladies working inside and they didn’t know what to make of me and couldn’t quite figure out what it was I wanted to do. They weren’t too familiar with the world of blogging and told me that I’d have to call the owner to get permission to take photos and do a blog post from there. I talked to the owner and well, let’s just say things didn’t go too well and I abandoned the idea of doing a post from Maurie’s.
Lately I noticed that Maurie’s was being more active on social media and wondered if someone had bought Maurie’s and sure enough, there is a new owner and this one invited us to come over and take a look at what she’s doing to the store. She said it’s a work in progress right now, so let’s go check it out!
Okay, here we are, two years later at Maurie’s, let’s see if we’re a little more welcome here this time around!
There’s a couple of people over at the counter, let’s go say hi and get this post rolling!
This is, Brigitte Krieg, who works as an advertising rep for the Pekin Daily Times, the first newspaper that ever paid me to write for them. In addition to the Pekin Daily Times gig, Brigitte is the owner of a photo booth rental company and you can check that out right here: Flashmugz Photo Booth Rental.
Behind the counter is the new owner of Maurie’s Fine Candies, Lelonie Luft. Lelonie bought the store in September and she’s refurbishing it and wants to bring it back to the iconic candy store that it once was. Maurie’s has been standing here on Court Street in Pekin since 1941 and she’s working to bring it back to it’s landmark status. She said she’d give us a tour of the place and show us what she’s up to, so let’s go!
Right as you walk in you see the front counter that’s loaded with specialty candy.
There’s a great selection in here of decadent delights!
There’s even candy for Rover if he has a sweet tooth!
Back in the day, Maurie’s was not only known for it’s sweet and unique candy, it was also a great newsstand loaded with newspapers, magazines and books and Leloni is working with a print distributor to bring that back. As you can see up front there's a newspaper rack here...
And lining the wall opposite the candy counters are shelves of magazines and books.
As you can see, there’s quite a few titles available now, but Leloni said in the next month or so, she’s really going to expand and there’s going to be quite a large selection of glossy magazines to peruse in here.
And the shelves are also filled with hardback and paperback books for your reading pleasure.
Wow, look at this! I think this is the last “Adult Literature” section in all of central Illinois! I have to check this out!
I love it back here! It reminds me of the pre-internet days when you’d go back to a section like this and pray that a neighbor or someone you knew didn’t see you back here. There is a five minute time limit back here and after about ten minutes, Leloni hinted that maybe we should continue the tour and so I reluctantly moved on.
Here’s a shot from the back of the store.
And there’s another room over here, let’s go check that out...
There’s even more candy over here and Leloni said to ignore the peg board walls as they’ll be coming down soon as the remodeling continues in here. I’m glad I got some “before” pictures, it’ll be fun to come back and see it all redone in a few months!
As you can see, there’s a great selection of candies to be had back here, from the specialty counter candy to lollipops to throw-back candy like Turkish Taffy and Chuckles.
Check it out, candy cigarettes! I didn’t think they made these anymore, how cool and delightfully politically incorrect! I love it!
This is Ben, who’s a Pekin native and has been shopping at Maurie’s since he was a kid. He said he’s thrilled that Leloni is bringing the store back to life again!
There’s a large selection of greeting cards here and they are always 50% off of the marked price. Such a deal!
There’s also gift items to be had in the store.
Leloni said this Johnson Toasted Nut display dates back to the ‘50’s. It's like a Little Nut Hut with a full-blown thyroid condition going on!
They make their own popcorn and caramel corn fresh on the premises and it comes in three sizes.
Now for an exclusive behind the scenes tour, here’s Leloni leading us to the kitchen area, where the goodies are made from scratch.
There’s some sweet treats in the making back here!
This is Cheryl who’s been a candy maker and kitchen manager at Maurie’s for over 20 years!
Check out the fresh batch of caramel apples cooling back here. They smell so sweet and good!
And now here’s a real MBIP exclusive, Leloni wanted to show us something in the basement...
There’s graffiti down here that’s decades old! I could spend all day looking at this stuff!
I love this! This is a real chunk of Pekin’s history down here! If anyone out there remembers writing any of this, please let me know!
I"d especially like to hear from you, Larry, I’d really like to meet you! Thanks to Leloni for a great tour of Maurie’s Fine Candies. You should stop by and help support her in her efforts to turn back the clock and make Maurie’s a great Pekin landmark once again! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Maurie’s Fine Candies Of Pekin
522 Court Street