Walking into Rissi’s Old Time Candy& Toys in Berwyn is like stepping into the past. With its 10-cent gumballs, wax lips and candy buttons, many parents come in just to show their children how things were when they were kids.
If You Go
Rissi’s Old Time Candy & Toys
6834 W. Windsor Ave., Berwyn
Owner Tracy Balnis opened the store in December after taking a roadtrip along Route 66. She loved the old-time stores and, after buying an antique gumball machine for $10 at one of them, she decided to open her own store. “As I kept going to more places, I’d find inspiration of how I would set up a store,” she says.
Rissi’s sells nostalgic candy, toys and Filbert’s old-time draft sodas. Candy is priced by the piece or weight, so visitors can pick and choose a selection without spending much.
“It’s so inspiring to see the kids come in with a dollar and they’re excited because things are 10 cents, 15 cents, 25 cents,” Balnis says. “They love it.”
Balnis hopes the shop, with a pink and white checkered floor and vintage table and chairs, becomes a place for people to gather over draft sodas and shaved ice like in the old days. Decked out in her vintage-style bright red apron, Balnis herself looks like she walked right out of a candy store of old. But don’t be fooled, she’s a tech-savvy businesswoman who would be lost without her iPad.
The only hitch in her plan involves her children.
Balnis, who has nine children ranging from 24 to 3 years old, originally thought the store would be a place where the kids could hang out and help. “They love it, but all they want to do is eat the candy,” she says. “Now I leave them home with my oldest.”