By Kelley Atherton
Triplicate staff writer
CRESCENT CITY Lynda's Candy Gifts and Bouquets has relocated to the Old Town Center to soak in new customers and handcrafted creations.
Owner Lynda Jones-Kepner makes candy bouquets out of hard candy or chocolate for any occasion, a craft she learned from an old friend. While living in Redding in 2003, Jones-Kepner filled in for a friend who had a home-based business making candy bouquets and subsequently had to learn how to make them.
The process is not complicated, but takes skill: She attaches wrapped hard candy or chocolates to the ends of floral wire, which are placed in a decorative container, and fills out the bouquet with colored cellophane.
"Basically I stick a bunch of sticks into containers," she said jokingly.
Her candy bouquets can also include sugar free, low carbohydrates, organic and Kosher. They can be bought with a themed design for birthdays, weddings, holidays or custom-made for individual preferences. Prices range from $10 to $45 and delivery is free.
Jones-Kepner's largest bouquet to date was 3 1/2 feet tall, with 165 pieces of candy and 150 sheets of paper. She said that for most designs she needs at least two hours notice. She that for those with budget restraints she can custom design something to fit their needs.
"I do what I can to make it work for them," Jones-Kepner said.
In addition to her tasty gifts, she sells original work from local artists. She only takes a 15 percent commission, which she said is the lowest percentage for stores in this area.
"I started going to the Farmer's Market and met a lot of artists," Jones-Kepner said. "It's just one of those things (that work out). I provide a place for other people to sell their stuff."
As people pass the word around, she said her store is replenished almost every week. Lynda's has everything from local photography to log furniture to crochet and knit items.
Log furniture from Bearwood Furniture by Joe Bergen of Grants Pass, Ore.
Clocks (tide and time) and birdhouses from Bob's Birdhouses by Robert Will of Smith River
Firefly Soy Candles by Sharon Treptow of Crescent City
Multi-colored knit socks by Rainy Day Kranky Socks of Crescent City
Knit hats, scarves, gloves and purses by Connected by a Thread of Crescent City
Photography from Northcoast Wonders by Adrien Nash of Crescent City
Doll dresses, children's Halloween costumes, children's clothing and other items made out of felt or 100 percent vintage cotton by Heritage Rose of Crescent City
Fresh floral arrangements by Aaron Johnson, a young entrepreneur of Crescent City
Wooden pots and pencil holders by Clyde Pevytoe, Jones-Kepner's grandfather of Crescent City
An assortment of crochet baby outfits, baby blankets/quilts, porcelain dolls, and dried floral arrangements.
Jones-Kepner originally situated her store inside Rural Human Service's building at 286 M Street in April, but is now located at 1335 Northcrest Drive.
The idea of owning her own business and the freedom that comes with being one's own boss intrigued her.
"I have six children," she said. "I like the flexibility of having them with me."
Her family was relocated from Redding due to her husband's job at Operating Engineers. Jones-Kepner's grandparents have always lived in Crescent City and she frequently visited as a child. The quaint feeling that comes from locally-owned shops is something that is missing from the area, she said.
"When I was a little girl, there were lots of those shops," Jones-Kepner said. "You don't see that anymore. Traditional crafts from people and culture that you don't see need a place to be seen."