Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

May 4, 2012

Olympia Candy Kitchen celebrates its 100th anniversary

Former Olympia employees tie on aprons to raise money for cancer services

GOSHEN — For 100 years, encompassing probably more than 300,000 days of doing business, The Olympia Candy Store has always been about the customers.

But on Friday, for just a few hours in the early evening, all that changed.

That’s when the historic little candy shop and diner on the corner of Clinton and Main streets turned its attention to the generations of people who worked on the grill, made the specialty drinks and served the nut olive sandwiches.

Oh, the customers still got the attention they needed, but Friday was one for the workers as more than a dozen former employees returned to strap on the red waitress apron, wash a few dishes and flip a few burgers.

“It’s like we never left,” said Jessica Elliott who worked as a waitress for about five years in the early 1990s and is credited in part with the idea of the reunion.

She said she and others had talked about having a reunion of sorts for years and decided to do it this year to commemorate the store’s 100th anniversary and coordinate it as a cancer benefit in memory of store manager Kare Andersen’s brother, Doug Johnston, who died last December of a brain tumor.

Anderson and Johnston are part of the fourth generation of family who have owned and operated the store since it was opened in 1912 by their great grandfather, Nicholas Paflas.

On Friday night, waitresses at the Olympia donated tips to help fight cancer.

The charity effort also ties in with today’s scheduled Compassion Walk, a cancer fundraiser organized by United Cancer Services of Elkhart County. This year’s honorary chairperson is Doug Johnston’s wife, Jeannine.

Outside the doors of the Olympia, the Circle of Friends, a cancer fund raising group, sold coffee mugs, jewelry and other items to benefit United Cancer Services.

Andersen bought shirts for the staff emblazoned with their first name and the year they graduated high school to help give an indication of when they worked at the store.

Since the event coincided with First Fridays, Andersen said he was expecting a strong turnout and made sure he was ready by ordering extra hamburger and preparing extra potato salad.

For Elliott and literally hundreds of others, working at the store often happened to be their first real job.

But it was more than just a paycheck.

“A lot of my friends worked here and we just had a lot of camaraderie,” Elliott said. “A lot of joke playing went on and it was just very special.”

Mindi Swihart was another who had been looking forward to a reunion, but for her, it was also a family get-together.

Joining her was her father, Max Wiese, who worked at the store in the early 1960s, and Ryan, one of two brothers who also worked at the store.

When Swihart was waiting tables in the early 1990s, she met David Swihart, a regular customer, who she later married.

“Back then, this was the place to work in high school,” Swihart recalled. “All of us became very close friends. I met so many great people.”

“It’s kind of been a family tradition and now, my daughter, who is three months old, someday will work here as well.”

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Press Release 04-23-2014 J.jpg SLIDESHOW: Police need help ID'ing suspects The Goshen Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying suspects wanted for questioning in relation to a number of thefts from retail stores throughout Indiana. The four individuals have stolen over $25,000 worth of merchandise, according to law enforcement. The men are believed to be African-American and have been seen fleeing in a white Dodge Ram or another white pickup truck with a white cap which may have Florida license plates. Anyone with information is asked to call the Goshen Police Department at 574-533-8661 or Michiana CrimeStoppers at 800-342-STOP.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEMA OKs aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by storm

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS GN140421 jobless rate Elkhart County jobless rate drops to 5.8 percent

    Elkhart County’s jobless rate dropped below 6 percent last month, according to figures released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
    The March unemployment rate for the county was estimated at 5.8 percent, compared to the February estimate of 6.2 percent and the March 2013 figure of 8.3 percent.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol motorcyclist dies from crash injuries

    Dale Greensides, 32, Bristol, the driver of a motorcycle involved in a crash with an automobile Sunday north of Middlebury, died today at 11:25 a.m.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News No injuries in Concord Township fire

    Firefighters were called to a basement fire in a Concord Township home shortly after midnight today.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol bank robbery suspect arrested

    A South Bend man has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery last year in Bristol.
    Zamale E. Davis, 19, 1805 Chapin St., was arrested at 7:10 a.m. Friday in South Bend by officers with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Six injured in crash northwest of Wakarusa

    A two-vehicle crash injured six people north of Wakarusa Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred around 7:20 a.m. at the intersection of C.R.s 1 and 26.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140416 Leesburg crash Driver critically injured in Kosciusko County crash

    A one-vehicle crash injured two men — one critically — south of Leesburg Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred on C.R. 150 West just south of C.R. 400 North around 5 p.m.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man killed in South Bend while possibly on bike

    Police in South Bend say a man was fatally shot in the head

    April 16, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results