WILTON, Iowa — The Wilton Candy Kitchen has been serving ice cream and sweets since 1910.
The building was built in 1856 as Wilton’s first grocery store. It later served as a post office, before it became the Candy Kitchen in 1910.
“The Candy Kitchen’s been open pretty much continuously since 1910, except for a period of about six or eight months, between the time we took over from [George] Nopoulus,” said Lynn Ochiltree, co-owner of the Candy Kitchen.
The Nopoulus family had owned the Candy Kitchen since 1910.
“The Nopouluses were legendary. Gus came here when he was 17 years old as a Greek immigrant,” said Ochiltree. “When he was 19, he saw a sign in the window of the store. It was a confectionery soda fountain that had been here previously, and he reopened the store in 1910, and his son George took ownership along with his wife, Thelma.”
“We have lots of candy, soda fountain, we used to serve lunch, and we’re going to start that again,” said Ochiltree.
The Candy Kitchen made big news in 2017 when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg paid a visit.
“We have people from all over the world that come here; people driving by on the interstate and Google something to see. We’re listed on a lot of those sites,” said Lynn.
Four years ago, the Ochiltrees purchased the Candy Kitchen. Lynn Ochiltree had run a funeral home in Winterset for a number of years with his wife, Brenda. They sold the Winterset business to return to Lynn’s hometown.
Lynn has a passion for history, and the prior owners have created a museum for the town of Wilton. That museum continues under the new ownership.
If you would like to check out the Candy Kitchen, click here.