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Bittersweet: Hamilton candy store on the move due to landlord dispute

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Bittersweet: Hamilton candy store on the move due to landlord dispute

Photo credit: @candi_werx on Instagram

One of Hamilton’s favourite sweetshops and chocolatiers is moving to a new location just in time for Valentine’s Day and they say it’s because of a dispute with their landlord.

Candi Werx is moving from its current storefront at 554 Concession to 605 Concession (right next to Mountain Tire) by the start of February.

According to a post Tuesday (Jan. 28) on the store’s social media pages, the move is a welcome change for the business.

“605 Concession St has a stunning storefront, has so much potential and we are very excited to be moving there,” the post said. “We have so many ideas for this new location and can’t wait to be able to share this space with you.”

The decision to move was the outcome of an alleged dispute with the landlord of 554 Concession.

“Most of the month has been spent trying to negotiate with him all while looking for a new location (and making as much chocolate as possible for Vday and to get us through a move),” the post said. “We considered a temporary space on Concession St while we looked for something that would suit our needs. We really didn’t want to leave the community that has become like family to us.”

Candi Werx’s owners allege that their lease expired by the end of this month and that in order to renew, the landlord was insisting they commit to a five-year lease and a 47 per cent rent increase.

“It’s a little more complicated than that,” said Tony Zarcone of Zarcone Holdings Ltd., the owner of the property. “The tenant was given the option to renew their current lease for an additional three years but declined and chose to go month-to-month. That triggered the rent increase in our agreement.”

Zarcone says month-to-month agreements cost the tenant more because banks charge higher interest rates on financing when there’s less of a commitment. Even the absence of a permanent sign outside the business, which was the case with Candi Werx, can affect financing.

“I have more than 30 tenants who I’ve been working closely with and accommodating the best I can during COVID,” added Zarcone. “This particular case was more complicated.”

Regardless, the candy store found a building that suits their needs and budget just a short distance away and they say they will be open for curbside pickup by Feb. 1.

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