Since taking over the day-to-day operations of Daytona Beach-based Zeno’s World’s Most Famous Taffy more than a decade ago, John Louizes been looking to expand the candy making business beyond the boardwalk shop.
He turned the production center into a store and attraction of its own. He helped open other stores, one as far away as Madeira Beach.
There’s also been a push to increase the wholesale business, and this year’s goal is to produce 400,000 pounds of taffy.
And now the company is trying to fit St. Augustine into its plans.
This summer, a Zeno’s taffy shop will open at 112B St. George St. It’s something Louizes said he’s been wanting to do for 10 years, and it’s finally worked out for him.
“I like the whole vibe of St. Augustine,” said Louizes, who came across the location while making one of his frequent trips here as a tourist.
He said he likes a lot of the shops and restaurants downtown and thinks his store will be a great fit here.
The plan is to make Zeno’s stand out as a unique shop that features the 101 varieties of taffy the company makes. And they’ll probably add 100 choices of soda as well.
“There’s plenty of candy stores on St. George Street,” Louizes said. “We’re not there to ruffle the feathers of candy stores there and really focus on the saltwater taffy. We’re very conscious of our neighbors. We’re truly trying to offer something different.”
Zeno’s was started in 1948 by Louizes’ grandfather. It was taken over by his father, and now he is in charge.
Louizes said it’s been great seeing the company grow, and he’s excited to be opening a store in a town he loves to visit.
“We’re just a little candy company that’s still a lot of fun,” Louizes said. “My main focus is I still like making candy.”