With a vision that harkens back to a simpler time, Kathy Lindell has transformed a vacant store front into a candy shop to satisfy the sweet tooth of a community.
Reminiscing about the ease of childhood makes one wonder why we were in a hurry to become adults. We would ride our bikes to the canal, down “the Hill” over the roots in the sidewalk, legs on the handlebars and wind in our hair. At the end of the day, our clothes were dirty from swinging on wisteria vines, climbing Magnolia trees, and running from yellow jackets. We were indeed backyard conquistadors. Armed with a few dollars, we would take a break from adventure to get ice cream at the pharmacy, popcorn at the Five and Dime, and candy at Mr. Beasley’s. This is the nostalgia that Kathy Lindell, owner of Simple Treasures, has captured in her eclectic one stop sweet shop located on the corner of Central Ave. and West 2nd South Street.
Deciding to leave the cold Montana winters, Kathy searched the Southeast for a place to relocate. Of all the places she considered, the Lowcountry beckoned the loudest, waving a “Welcome Home” sign that could not be ignored. Kathy settled in Summerville and continued to work part-time as a social worker. While acclimating to her new surroundings, she noticed a vacant building in Summerville’s Historic and Shopping District. She also noted Summerville did not have a candy shop. With a keen eye for problem solving, she thought the vacant store would be a good location for such an establishment. Encouraged by the Town and not swayed by her limited knowledge of confections, Kathy contacted the Small Business Bureau. With their help and persevering mind set, she created a business plan and hung her shingle in the Summerville sun.
Starting out, Kathy contracted with a local ice cream distributor to provide homemade, additive free products but soon found the selection limiting. To expand the depth of flavors,control quality and consistency, she decided to make her own novelties. Using high quality preservative free, natural ingredients and locally sourced seasonal fruit, she creates basic flavors. Next, she pairs the original with a complimentary flavor. By blending chocolate ice cream with peppermint patties, she elevates the creamy chocolate with cool mint flavors. Giving a new twist to an old favorite. Her robust repertoire of ice cream, sorbet, chocolates and other confectionary delights, will satisfy the most discerning connoisseur.
Not formally trained in the culinary industry, Kathy acknowledges, “All my life, I’ve done a lot of baking and cooking. Since I was young, I’ve always been a kitchen person.” Knowing your way around a kitchen is one thing. Knowing how to temper ingredients is another. Kathy’s genuine gift is flavor discernment. Her ability to capture the essence of seasonings is on par with the finest perfumer who creates bountiful fragrances in a tiny droplet. Balancing the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory takes a special talent. To be successful, this act cannot be taken lightly. Kathy has always enjoyed experimenting with food and flavor combinations are second nature to her. “When my children were young”, she professes, “I did not have a method to my baking. I would make cookies or desserts by adding ingredients that I thought would blend nicely together. I wrote down the ingredients or steps.” When asked to recreate a successful recipe, she could not remember the exact process. Opening Simple Treasures challenged Kathy to be more precise. By writing down the recipe, she formally acknowledges she has created a new variety of an old favorite. Quality is extremely important; she will not sell an altered version of a successful recipe. To make her crowd-pleasing Gingerbread ice cream, she experimented with gingerbread cookies searching for the right consistency and flavor. She will only make and sell the Gingerbread Ice Cream, or any new flavor, if she can duplicate the recipe in its entirety. If she cannot find the exact ingredients, she will wait until they are available instead of substituting. It is this precision that keeps her customers coming back for more.
In the store, she highlights her new products while maintaining a version of the traditional. Her sweet treats adeptly wake your palette, the baked potato popcorn, melts in your mouth, the seasoning lingers, dissipates and resurfaces with each bite. The blueberry popcorn is a bowl of tiny fruit, cover with cream and sugar combined in a popped kernel. The ice cream nachos are a whimsical take on the traditional sundae. Best sellers include turtles, dark, milk and white chocolate and anything with peanut butter. A favorite specialty is the gooey butterfly. Using Graham crackers for the wings, she drizzles, three types of chocolate, caramel, marshmallows and pecans creating a three-dimensional treat. Custom gift baskets are individually tailored for every occasion and budget. They run the gambit from chocolate covered wine bottles, boxes of candy, popcorn and gift certificates. There is nothing ordinary about this confectioner’s curiosity shop. One thing is for certain, you never know what secret treasure will be hiding in the counters, on the shelves waiting to be discovered. Palettes with be satiated and memories will be made. AM
Simple Treasures is located at 145 Central Avenue, Summerville. Their products can also be purchased online at simplettreasures.biz.