New Hampshire

60-Year-Old NH Candy Store May Be Forced to Close or Move

A beloved candy shop in southern New Hampshire could be closing, and the news has longtime customers very concerned.

A heavy equipment rental company is trying to buy the land that houses Sanborn's Fine Candies on the busy Route 125 in Plaistow.

If the sale goes through, Plaistow Planning Director John Cashell says the developer plans to demolish the white building that has become a landmark over the last six decades.

Inside Sanborn's Fine Candies, life is a little sweeter.

"It's the people," said customer Marie Fournier.

Something about the store makes people feel at home. Maybe it's because it is home for the Sanborn family.

"It's happiness, it's love and memories," said Joyce Hovnanian.

Her in-laws started Sanborn's back in 1958 as one of the first businesses in the town.

"Mr. and Mrs. Sanborn went to department stores and sold their candy in there to make enough money to earn the store," Hovnanian said.

Hovnanian's son, Teddy Sanborn, owns the business, but rents the building.

Now, after 60 years, the property owners are looking to sell and a heavy equipment rental company called ProQuip wants to buy.

"We're happy here," Hovnanian said. "We don't want to go anywhere."

According to Cashell, ProQuip would demolish the candy store to build a 12,000 square foot maintenance facility.

"Oh my God, that would be a disaster," said Elizabeth Golas.

The news is devastating for nearby residents who can't remember a time when Sanborn's wasn't there. Over the years, it's become a staple.

"It's part of the area. Now, if it's gone, part of our heritage is gone," Fournier said. "That's how I feel."

"It's a landmark," said another customer, Donna Compani. "It would be a loss to the surrounding communities."

Hovnanian's son is trying to save it.

"If the deal does not go through with ProQuip, he wants to buy the business," Hovnanian said.

But even if he can't, there's no doubt that his grandmother's legacy will live on.

"Mrs. Jennie Sanborn used to tell us, 'No matter what happens in your life, candy is always a comfort food,"" Hovnanian recalled.

And thankfully, her family has plenty of that.

According to the Cashell, there are environmental concerns with the developer's proposal. He's expecting some revisions and a presentation from ProQuip at the next public hearing on May 15.

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