‘A lounge, but for candy’: New gaming-themed candy store opens in West Dundee

When Bill Platt says he feels like a kid in a candy store, he means it.

With Candy Quest, a new gaming-themed store in West Dundee, Platt and his wife Michelle Wright are combining their love of video games with their longtime dream of opening a retail store.

  Candy Quest, a gaming-themed candy store, opened over the weekend in West Dundee. Rick West/

The store, located at 739 S. Eighth St., sells candies from around the world and will be a place where Platt hopes people will just hang out. They have indoor and outdoor tables and chairs, a video game lounge area and a role-playing game table.

“It really is a dream because I can come in, sell candy, interact with people, play video games all day and just have a good time,” Platt said. “I’ve always been kind of a kid at heart. I turned 50 this year but I still skateboard, I still play video games, I still do all those young things.”

  Candy Quest features a gaming lounge with plenty of PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch games for guests to play for free. There’s also a large game table for role-playing board games. Rick West/

The couple had talked about opening a store of some kind for more than 20 years. They both have been longtime collectors of video games and gaming memorabilia and initially thought about opening a used-game store.

“We have like 15,000 games, two storage units, it’s ridiculous, just out of control,” Platt said.

They knew they couldn’t compete against big chains like GameStop, so for years they considered ways to scratch the itch.

The couple were longtime frequenters of Around the Corner Candy in downtown West Dundee and got to know the previous owners pretty well. At one point they made an offer to purchase the business from it’s current owner but were rebuffed.

  Candy Quest features candy from around the world and a gaming lounge. Rick West/

“So we thought, there’s enough room in this town for two candy stores, it’s a big enough area with East and West Dundee and Elgin and Carpentersville,” he said.

With no experience in opening a retail store, the couple wondered how hard it could be.

“Turns out it’s fairly difficult,” he said. “We’re learning the hard way but we’ve managed to pull it off.”

They used all their own video games, consoles and memorabilia to set the motif. The couple said they did a pretty intensive search and could not find a similarly-themed store anywhere nearby.

“You can’t go to a candy store and just hang out,” Platt said. “You just go in, buy your stuff and leave. Here you can grab some candy, a drink, maybe a cookie or a doughnut and just kind of hang out and relax.

“Literally a lounge, but for candy and snacks.”

  Befitting a candy store with a video game theme, you can find plenty of Nintendo- and Mario-themed treats at Candy Quest in West Dundee. Rick West/

About half the shelf space will be taken up with harder-to-find international candy from places such as Japan, Mexico and Europe, Wright said. They’re working on finding suppliers from India and other regions, as well.

The other half will feature modern and nostalgic candy, as well as candies trending on TikTok, which their 19-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, will help curate.

  Pickle candies are trending on TikTok and will be available at Candy Quest in West Dundee. Rick West/

They’ve also partnered with a Woodstock bakery that will provide a variety of cookies and cake pops. An eclectic selection of snacks and drinks from around the world rounds out the wide-ranging munchable inventory.

“We want to be that one-stop shop,” Platt said.

The store is open seven days a week, with hours tentatively set for 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

A grand opening ceremony was held Saturday.

Like any kid in a candy store, Platt has his favorites: Violets, which Wright described as tasting like a woman’s perfume, and Chuckles.

“Everybody hates them, but I could eat them all day,” he said.

  Candy Quest in West Dundee will stock a large variety of international candies. Rick West/

He’s also become a big fan of Japanese candies.

“When you buy a piece of grape candy from America, it’s very artificial,” he said. “When you buy a piece of grape candy from Japan, it’s like biting in to a real grape, the flavors are unmatched.”

While the video game area is ready to go, the gaming table is a work in progress. The space is intended to be a spot for role-playing games like “Magic: The Gathering,” “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Warhammer.” They’re in the process of creating a corresponding retail space for that area of the store and hope to have gaming events in the future.

“We wanted to have a hybrid store like this because it just seems fun, like a place I would want to hang out as a kid,” Platt said.

  Scorpion Suckers are a real thing and are available at Candy Quest in West Dundee. Rick West/
  Bill Platt and his daughter, Kaitlyn, 19, work on pricing inventory before last weekend’s opening of Candy Quest in West Dundee. Rick West/
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