Sweet Tooth: Wilton Candy Kitchen - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sweet Tooth: Wilton Candy Kitchen

by Danielle Wagner

WILTON (KWWL) The Wilton Candy Kitchen is where George and Thelma Nopoulos spend their time.

George began working at the candy kitchen in 1926 when he was just six years old, winding the victrola for music.

Thelma started washing dishes in 1941 when she was 10 years old.

Shortly after Thelma started, George left, for awhile.

"George went to service from 1942 to 1946 and when he came home from service and we started working here together, the sparks began to fly," said Thelma Nopoulos.

George even gave Thelma her engagement ring in the back office. They married in October 1949. After more than 60 years together, they're still an entertaining pair.

"We have hot and cold sandwiches, a lot of hot air!" said George Nopoulos.

Customers said the two main reasons to visit the candy kitchen are Thelma and George.

But Thelma said it works both ways.

"They entertain us and we entertain them. So we don't have to vacation because people come here and we enjoy them and have a good time with them," said Thelma.

The building originally opened in 18-60 as a confectionary.Then George's father and a business partner re-opened it around 1909 as a soda shop and ice cream parlor.

George learned how to make homemade ice cream and syrup from his uncle, which is still popular with the customers.

George and Thelma said Wilton used to have four soda fountains in town. Now, they're the only one.

"Why do you guys think you've lasted so long? What's the secret? We love our work and we're here seven days a week," said Thelma.

The hours used to be 6:30 a.m. to Midnight, but they've now cutback, open 7:30 to 5.

The hours might be different, but most everything else has stayed the same from the malt mixer to the cash register.

"If they work, why change them? If they break down we try to replace them, but we're careful with our things," said Thelma.

Thelma and George said they spend lots of hours here, but it's all worth it.

After all, they don't just serve ice cream and soda, they say they serve happiness, too.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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