Candy buffet, you say? Why Grandpa Joe’s is one of downtown Middletown’s best treats

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop has continued to provide Middletown residents with a variety of candy treats since it moved into a historic downtown building.

“We have any candy you can want, in any quantity, with a huge selection of glass bottle soda, combined with some of the coolest gifts you can find anywhere,” said William “Bill” Kelly, part owner.

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop was founded in 2012 by Christopher Beers. In 2016, Beers and Bill and Tiffany Kelly came together and they opened the Miamisburg location.


“Together, the three of us have opened five other stores in Ohio, including Middletown,” Bill Kelly said. “Middletown was the second store in Ohio, and fourth in the company overall.

“We picked this location because we believe downtown Middletown has a lot to offer, and that location couldn’t be better. The history of the building is awesome, and for us to have it now couldn’t be better.”

Grandpa Joe’s is in the old Liberty Restaurant building that opened originally in 1925. It was closed permanently in 2014. The building was known as the Valen Building and owned by Greek immigrants, Gus and Irene Valen. Later, there was Buck’s Sports Bar & Grill.

The inside of the building is no longer recognizable. It is packed with 250 candy bar varieties, novelty gifts, 250 flavors of old-fashioned glass-bottled soda and more.

Grandpa Joe’s company name is a reference to Grandpa Joe from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” a 1964 children’s novel by Roald Dahl.

“One of our best things is our $5 candy buffet,” Bill Kelly said. “For $5, you can fill a box from over 100 selections. We don’t weigh it; we don’t count the pieces. As long as you can close the lid you are good to go.”

Bill Kelly said they have everything including five-pound gummy bears, to giant Rice Krispie Treats, candy from when you were a kid.

“Every kid remembers going to the candy store with their grandparents, and that’s a great memory,” he said. “We want to be a place families come to make memories for this generation. From 1 piece of candy to a pallet of candy, we can provide it.”

They recently introduced pickle Oreos.

“We took an Oreo cookie, took it apart, put a very thin slice of pickle in the middle, put the Oreo back to together, then covered it in chocolate,” he said. “‘Cause everything is better covered in chocolate. The pickle taste is a hint of pickle, it’s not overpowering.”

Sixteen flavors of ice cream are at Grandpa Joe’s, all of which can be turned into a milk shake or float as well.

“We often bring in special flavors depending on the time of year,” Bill Kelly said. “For example, during July, we brought in Very Berry Patriotic. We currently have pumpkin.”

There are 10 total stores in the company between Ohio and Pennsylvania. They are all not identical, but very similar and you can definitely tell you are in one of Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shops.

The Grandpa Joe’s hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6pm.

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