SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A contest is making a sweet dream come true for one future Sacramento business owner.

It took a YouTube video pitch, a strong business plan, and a little convincing, but an empty storefront is about to become home to a first-time business owner.

Andy Paul is all smiles these days as he is about to live his lifelong dream of opening his own candy shop.

“I have always loved candy, and whenever I say that, people are like, ‘Everyone likes candy.’ No I was kind of obsessed about it.”

That passion led Andy to win the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Calling All Dreamers competition for his business plan of opening a unique candy shop.

His pitch must have hit the sweet spot as the judges are giving the chocolate love a $135,000 prize pack that includes free rent for a year.

“He ended up winning, because he truly is our dreamer,” said Valarie Mamone-Werder. “He truly is that person that had that vision and wanted to make this come to fruition.”

Andy’s Candy Apothecary will feature butterscotch from Japan, chocolate from Germany, and beer-nut brittle from the Napa Valley.

A candy lover since he was a child, Andy knows his candy. He hopes to take what he has learned from the best shops in the world and bring that design to this empty space along the 800 block of J Street in Downtown Sacramento.

Andy’s Candy Apothecary is set to open the day after Thanksgiving.

While Andy may have won the grand prize, a workout studio was able to snag the people’s choice award, which also comes with a nearly $100,000 prize to open a site along J Street.

The competition pushed Sandra Lemos to look to the grid for their next workout studio.

“We have had a lot of requests. A lot of our client base comes from Sacramento, so I feel like it was a natural fit for us.”

Filling empty spaces like this one on J Street was behind the competition to give several hundred thousand dollars away in rent, design work and legal advice.

The Downtown Partnership loves to see shops like the Dailey Method, since it’s a business that is know to attract new shoppers that don’t typically go downtown.


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