Sep 18, 2022
BATAVIA — Ask anybody to name their favorite part of Oliver’s Candies, and you might get all sorts of answers.
The store’s famous sponge candy? Definitely.
But it might also be the ice cream, the traditional chocolates and any number of other sweet and tasty treats.
The iconic Genesee County business celebrated its 90th anniversary Saturday with a gathering including fun and games, food trucks, police displays and more. Plus, of course, all its popular products.
“It’s a lot of entertainment here,” said owner/operator Jeremy Liles. “My whole crew planned this event ... So far it’s been great and the weather turned out a little better than I even thought.”
Oliver’s Candies was established in 1932 by Joseph Boyd Oliver with what was originally a home-based operation. It’s since grown and evolved to include its Elba manufacturing facility and accompanying Sweet Life Country Store, and Amazon store, and any number innovations.
The store’s exact founding date isn’t immediately known, Liles said. He and his employees chose Saturday for their celebration because September is typically a time of pleasant temperatures and weather.
That decision proved prescient as the event attracted a steady stream of people throughout the day.
Liles said Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac was phenomenal in giving Oliver’s the use of an extra parking lot for the celebration, while proceeds raised were supporting Genesee County Animal Shelter.
“Even the community coming together, all the giveaways are stuff from local businesses — it’s just been amazing, the support we get from all our friends in the community,” he said.
The goal so far, Liles said, has been to keep Oliver’s Candies going and growing as a city staple.
“It’s a staple in Batavia don’t want to change that,” he said. “My goal more than anything with events like this is give back to the community a little bit, be a part of the community and show them we’re here to stay. We aren’t going anywhere.”
That goes for employees and customers old and new.
Employee Elizabeth Rindell, 17, was spending a busy morning making ice cream cones and milkshakes for a stream of customers.
“I got a job here because a lot of my friends were working here and this has been fun,” she said.
Rindell has become a fan since she started working at Oliver’s — her favorite part is the people. Among the people she served were Aimee Nelson and her daughter Avery, both of Attica, and Avery’s grandmother Becky Swanson.
“Who doesn’t love Olivers?” Swanson said. “Chocolate, candy, ice cream, and what a great festival.”
Swanson was eating a peanut butter caramel cookie dough ice cream cone, while Avery, 9, opted for a vanilla soft ice cream cone.
They were the many enjoying candy and ice cream cones, or lining up at the several food trucks which had set up shop in the parking lot.
That’s the kind of thing Liles and his employees enjoy, along with seeing the business prosper and grow, along with developing new creations to take it into the future.
“There’s so many things to enjoy about it,” he said. “It’s just an enjoyable business to be in. The people that work for me, the community and the customers, I love all of it.”