PASO ROBLES — Although metaphorical in nature, the golden ticket, the chance to win a year’s supply of candy is easily within reach. Simply go by the Paso Robles Powell’s Sweet Shoppe and pick up an entry form. There is a catch, a clause, a caveat however --- you must come up with a new name for the store.
Owners Miranda and Steve Battenburg, a professor at Cal Poly for the past 27 years, realized their franchise agreement was coming to an end and had an idea. After 10 years in the community they decided not to renew their contract enabling them to be more attentive to the local tastes and wants of their customers. And what if those customers could actually have a say in the rebranding, if the customers themselves could come up with a new name for the store that would reflect the community?
Powell’s Sweet Shop was named after the founder and originated in Windsor, CA. Now with a dozen locations, most are located in the Bay area with the Battenburgs owning both the Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo stores. However, the San Luis Obispo franchise does not expire until March 2018.
“We work live and play here in the area and want it to continue. That’s how the name change and rebranding came about, We want to hear from our customers, from our community what they would like the name to be,” said Battenburg. Indeed the owners are deeply imbedded and committed to the community. Over the past decade they have contributed to the local schools and several non-profits and all of the employees are local students.
The 10 year anniversary celebration will be an all day event, from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., on Friday June 13. Guests will enjoy free candy and the winner will be announced. But just at the Paso store, I don’t want any to show up at the SLO store and be disappointed and miss the party, said Battenburg.
As for the much loved Wonka theme, with the original classic film running on a loop and the classic candy offerings, it has been assured that it will remain, “Oh no, that’s not going anywhere. Our customers love it. Not just the kids but the older customers as well.” The theme brings back memories and the store isn’t just for the kids, but for everyone, said Battenburg.
All entries must be submitted by Friday, May 26. So hurry down to Powell’s to pick up your golden ticket - okay entry form - put on that thinking cap and step into a “world of pure imagination.”
You may contact reporter Madeline Vail at [email protected]