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Queen City Soda & Sweets opened in December 2019.
SBJ photo by Jessica Rosa
Queen City Soda & Sweets opened in December 2019.

Candy shop co-owner sells shares to brother

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Robert Sands, co-owner of downtown startup Queen City Soda & Sweets, sold his interest in the business to his brother.

Citing undisclosed health issues, Sands said his brother, Donny, has taken over full ownership of the 301 Park Central West store. Donny, who lives in Los Angeles, co-founded the business with Robert in December 2019, after Robert closed his 7-year-old SunRay Vapors store at 212 S. Campbell Ave.

“I had some good ideas that I hope he continues. I don’t know what his intentions are with the store,” Robert Sands said. “I just could not commit myself to the business. My health is deteriorating right now.”

Sands described the two-month span of the downtown candy shop as a “roller coaster.”

“Sales were more than I expected in the good months and a lot lower than I expected in the slow months,” he said, declining to disclose financials. “I started noticing a trend with the weather. We’re dependent on the weather and whether people are around downtown.”

Sands signed a three-year lease for an undisclosed rate with Bob McCrosksey Real Estate Inc. for the roughly 1,600-square-foot store, the original home of Hurts Donut Co. Startup costs, which included installation of an old-fashioned soda fountain bar, were around $60,000, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The store opened with three employees and more than 200 varieties of craft soda and bulk candy, including fudge.

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