A testament to hometown values while creating treats full of love, Grandma Cleda’s Gourmet Candy & Gifts brings a full life worth of experience into each bite you get to enjoy! From the delicious brittle to the warm hospitality, Grandma Cleda’s is a place where anyone in the family can find some peace and enjoyment.
Opening in April of 2022, you can enjoy ice cream and a plethora of treats when you visit, with the main specialty at Grandma Cleda’s being their brittle. Which comes in a few different ways with pecan brittle, peanut brittle, and cinnamon pecan brittle.
“We really want it to be a personal quality, memorable experience that people have,” said Brent Strehlow, owner and son of Grandma Cleda. “My mom worked for two and a half years to figure out what was the right temperature control because she didn’t like hard and sticky, brittle. And she when she makes something for someone, she’s always thinking, ‘Is it the best possible experience for them?’”
Just like a well-known donut place has a light to let you know when their treats are hot and fresh, there is an outdoor and indoor light for you to know when the brittle is being made! During that time, you can enter ‘Grandma’s Porch’ and watch the process as the brittle is made and laid out.
“The store is really about trying to give people an incredible experience. From the music to the atmosphere, the mural on the wall, the way we treat people, how we make our products,” said Strehlow. “We want people to come and hear the story, watch the process, see how we do it, and experience the taste.”
The 3 Pillars of Grandma Cleda’s
There are three words to describe what Grandma Cleda’s sets out to accomplish.
First off is to enjoy, which is the easiest of all the goals. This starts with stopping in, enjoying the brittle, having some ice cream, or snacking on any other baked goods you see in the window.
Next up there is sharing, which as Strehlow told us, “If you want to be like Grandma Cleda, don’t just keep it to yourself, share it with a friend.” This is made even easier with their Brittle of the Month Club! This gives you the chance to enjoy and share your choice of brittle each month with it coming to your house or shipping some to a friend. Money from this program helps out with scholarships that Grandma Cleda’s also gives out to give back to the community. You can learn about what inspires Grandma Cleda’s to give back by clicking here!
The last pillar is to inspire. This is a challenge set out for others, and businesses, to express appreciation to your loved ones, your employees, and your customers alike.
The Woman of the Hour: Grandma Cleda
After a lifetime dedicated to serving others, Grandma Cleda’s (the store) represents the values and principles of Grandma Cleda (the person) and as a place to continue bringing friends together and continue to bring joy into not only East Texas, but the world.
When we asked Strehlow what it was like for his mom to see the store, named after her, and bringing her values together, he told us that she was overwhelmed and said “I’m so glad that this happened in my lifetime. So I could see it and come to the store.”
Along the wall is a three-panel mural showcasing what Strehlow said are things he has learned from his mom through life. The first panel is learning, showcasing Grandma Cleda teaching piano. Secondly is about laughter and represents enjoying the moment and enjoying life. The last panel is about loving, by loving your friends, loving your family, and doing it unconditionally.
“Grandma Cleda has always loved her boys, her husband, her family and friends in an unconditional way. So, it’s really keep learning, keep laughing, keep loving. You really can’t go wrong with those three things,” said Strehlow.
More than just treats, Grandma Cleda’s is a labor of love that showcases an amazing life spent supporting others and represents a legacy well made.
They are open on Wednesdays & Thursdays from 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Fridays & Saturdays from Noon - 10:00 PM, and Sundays from Noon - 5:00 PM.
You can learn more about Grandma Cleda’s by visiting their website, or keep up with what’s going on by following their Facebook & Instagram pages.
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