Update: 2:57 p.m.
Owner Bob Schneider confirmed that retirement is definitely happening for he and his wife, Norma, but they are reviewing other options that would allow Sweet Tooth Candies to stay open.
"It's a long and complicated process, but we wanted to let our employees and customers know that we're headed toward retirement," said Schneider. "With that goal in mind, we've been doing this since I grew up. We've worked our elbows off."
Earlier reports from employees indicated that a closure was on the horizon, but Schneider says he hopes to avoid that.
The article's headline has been corrected to reflect the new comments. New information will be updated in a new article.
A bittersweet ending for a long-time small business has many fans reeling.
Sweet Tooth Candies (125 W. 11th St.) in Newport, Kentucky and owners Bob and Norma Schneider, 83 and 77, will begin their retirement journey. Employees told Fort Thomas Matters that the couple has told them they will close, but gave them no specific date when operations will cease.
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Since there is no date for their final closure, there is still time to grab their famous chocolate turtles, caramel apples or ice balls. Employees confirmed that ownership had communicated their plans to retire and close without a succession plan.
Schneider's, located in Bellevue, Kentucky, will remain open.
The Schneider family has been making their small-batch chocolate recipe for over a hundred years.
Everything is made in a small factory on Saratoga Street and served in the West 11th Street storefront, where shelves are lined with colorfully wrapped treats and gold-leaf boxes.
Sweet Tooth has roughly 10 employees who do everything from serving up ice cream on hot summer nights to hand-wrapping flavored chocolate eggs in preparation for Easter.
In three decades, there is one thing she hasn’t done: make the chocolate.
“Nobody makes candy except the boss,” Kenney says, referring to the “candy man” himself, Robert Schneider Jr. “He makes it all, the chocolates and all of his flavors for the ice balls, plus the toppings like chocolate syrup.”
Easter and Christmas are, understandably, the busiest candy seasons at Sweet Tooth Candies, but summer brings in the ice cream crowd from all over the tristate. Kenney describes it as a home base for Northern Kentuckians who have moved away: “They come back when they’re in town and they’re happy we’re still here.”
Liz McEwan/NKY Thrives contributed to this article.