THE WOODLANDS, Texas - The community is continuing to rally around a local candy man who was in danger of losing his decades-old shop.
“It’s like I woke up in a whole new world, and I’m baffled at all this attention,” says 89-year-old Navy veteran and cancer survivor, Donald Baker.
Sweet relief hasn’t stopped pouring in for the owner of "The Candy House."
In mid-November, after hearing he was having trouble maintaining the business, a longtime customer asked for help on social media.
Mr. Baker was soon met with long lines of candy customers.
“It was all ‘save the candy house’!” recalls Baker.
A couple of days later, a neighbor noticed another problem.
“The flooring had started breaking up on us shortly after we moved in- it cracked,” explains Baker.
After 22 years, his tiles were a safety hazard, and the subfloors were rotting underneath.
Mr. Baker says he hadn’t gotten a fix because he was worried glue chemicals from putting in new floors could leak into his candy jars and spoil his sweet supply. He also didn’t have the resources to move everything out and back into the store.
A call for a contractor to help also went out on social media, and the company Texas Engineered Roofing answered.
“Mr. Baker has actually tripped on the floor many times, and we felt like it was our due diligence to come in and help them out,” says president and owner, Brad Briggs.
The company’s crews started prepping the four-day project on Thanksgiving Eve, then, they spent their holiday demoing the tile and putting in luxury vinyl, which was paid for through the company’s outreach program. They’re also adding storage, reinforcing shelving, and making other adjustments like re-working the electrical for the shop’s fudge machine.
“Texas Engineered Roofing hopes that it will continue to bring in more customers for him- that every day he comes in he doesn’t have to worry about tripping, falling, or hurting himself,” says Briggs.
He says the crews will return before Christmas to complete Phase Two of the renovation so that the Candy House will be able to reopen Monday to new and loyal customers waiting to support the store.
“I’m dancing a jig here, thrilled to death! Why wouldn’t I be?” laughs Baker.
For the longtime candy man, it’s another unexpected gift he’ll use to help keep the community sweet.