13 years ago, when Jody Lackey’s father suggested she open a candy shop for the holidays, she had little idea that more than a decade later that temporary shop would grow into a Marion mainstay for both sweets and tasty lunches. Now in Charleston Place on Center Street, the Candy Shack & Café is a go-to for work lunches, catering, and chocolate anything. Anything as in chocolate covered potato or corn chips. The combination restaurant/sweet shop, along with the other businesses in Charleston Place make it a destination, says Jody. “Marionites will bring their visiting friends and family in for lunch and shopping.” And, she says, “I am excited about all of the improvements going on in Marion. Events like the lofts tours and Taste of Marion and things that are bringing people downtown.”
And, like so many of our locally owned shops and restaurants in Marion, Jody says she enjoys getting to know her customers by name. The same holds true about her neighbors in the mutli-store Charleston place where she says it is like family. Speaking of family, Jody recalls a visit one weekend in May from a family from Kentucky and Cincinnati. She says they learned about a concert on the Visitors Bureau web site and decided to make the trip to Marion for the weekend. After a pleasant lunch in her restaurant, Jody relates how the family shopped in Charleston Place before exploring the rest of the downtown and eventually the Harding Home. And, they plan to come back for Christmas at the Palace in December. This, Jody says it what makes living and working in Marion so rewarding. The small-town atmosphere lends itself to creating great experiences for visitors, as well as locals. She and her staff pride themselves in knowing all the things to see and do so they can make their visit more enjoyable.