The smell of chocolate and the feeling of nostalgia - that is what hits you when you step into Gateway Candyland. This Thurmont treasure has been a permanent fixture along Route 15 since the 1980s. Sterling and Linda Bollinger first opened the shop as a market to sell produce grown in their orchard. The Bollingers added candy to the mix as well, making Gateway a popular stop for families traveling through the area.
In 2018, Amber and Brad Seiss took over the business. Amber says she takes pride in the fact that not much has changed since the popular candy shop changed hands. The store continues to carry an incredible variety of candy, including many hard to find items. One of Amber’s favorite reactions from customers is when they find a candy that immediately takes them back to their childhood. Giving people access to these nostalgic candies is a huge part of Gateway Candyland’s success, and the owners are often on the hunt for special requests from their multigenerational customers.
Gateway Candyland is more than just hard to find candies, the shop also carries homemade chocolate candies and popular dipped items like chocolate covered pretzels and NutterButters. The store has carried hand-dipped Hershey’s ice cream for nearly 20 years, and from spring to fall, customers enjoy a variety of soft serve ice cream flavors made right in the shop. Amber’s newest addition to the candy store is homemade fudge in a variety of mouth-watering flavors. The fudge has been a popular item over the past two years and is even sold by a number of fundraising groups.
With the holiday season in full swing, Gateway Candyland is busy stocking up on favorites and bringing in some new items to the mix. Dark chocolate mint cups, reindeer Rice Krispies, and chocolate-dipped peppermint Peeps are just a few of the holiday additions this year, along with more than a dozen flavors of gourmet hot chocolate.
2020 is already looking bright for Gateway. With creative additions always popping up and an expansion planned into the attached storefront, the owners of Gateway Candyland are looking forward to another year of bringing sweet treats to Frederick County. You can follow Gateway Candyland on social media for their latest news and delicious candy photos, or stop by the store at 14802 North Franklinville Road in Thurmont.