PEKIN — The owner of Maurie’s of Pekin Candy-Coffee-Ice Cream hopes the store will remain a landmark of Pekin’s business community.
However, Karen Irons has put the business, located at 522 Court St., up for sale, citing illness as the motivation for the sale.
“My doctor and I had a meeting this week, and I’m no longer allowed to work for health reasons,” she said. “My health has declined, and my doctor has wanted me not to work for quite a while. My husband and I made the very hard choice to put Maurie’s up for sale.”
Maurie’s has been in business under various owners since 1941. The store sells baked goods, store-made chocolates, coffee, caramel corn and old-fashioned candies. Maurie’s barista Nate Wernowsky expressed sadness at the end of an era for the iconic business, but hopes that a new owner will bring new life to the store.
“It’s definitely sad for the older generation that grew up with (Maurie’s),” he said. “From what I hear, it was something special. I hope someone will purchase it and make it special again.”
The store’s last day of business under its current ownership will be July 31. Although Irons has not planned any sort of special event for her last day, she plans to offer various discounts on merchandise leading up to her retirement as an entrepreneur. She recommended the store to a potential buyer because much of the staff is willing to stay on.
“Maurie’s, under my ownership, started a bakery,” she said. “We sell the best baked goods. We sell cookies and cheesecakes and cupcakes that are literally the best (in the area).”
The new owner will need to find a new location, she added. Irons doesn't own the building which is need of extensive renovations to bring it up to the county's health department standards.
“There is so much wrong with the building that the Health Department will not let a new owner open a new business without bringing everything ... up to code,” said Irons. ”(That) would require the new owner to do a lot of work with the Health Department.”
Maurie’s Fine Candies is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.