LANSING, Ill. (July 14, 2023) – The Village of Lansing is losing some of its sweetness with the announcement that Greco Nut & Candy is relocating.
A sign on the window of the store at 3153 191st Place tells patrons that after more than 40 years the store will close on July 16 as it transitions to a new, larger location at 2249 Wicker Avenue in Schererville, Indiana.
John Fager has owned the store for the past 16 years and said the new location is almost twice the size of the Lansing store and will allow Greco to introduce new items along with classic old-school favorites such as bullseyes, slo-pokes, and candy cigarettes.
Fager said he would rather not leave Lansing, but said “unfortunately we have to do something, you need to grow.”
Fager also owns a Greco Nut & Candy store in Tinley Park.
“In the middle of the pandemic it got so bad we had to close a third store that was in Oak Lawn,” Fager said.
He said COVID made it harder to get candy.
“Half the manufacturers are producing very low quantities,” Fager said.
He said the new location has a larger traffic flow than the long-time Lansing store that is on Burnham Avenue, but in the middle of a strip mall.
“This one, we are right on Indianapolis Boulevard,” Fager said. “You’ll be able to see us before you get there.”
Fager said the time in Lansing has been “wonderful.”
“I mean, the people in Lansing are just terrific people,” Fager said.
Eight miles southeast
He hopes that loyal customers will travel the eight miles that will separate the old and new locations in order to get their Pixy Stix fix, buy yogurt covered peanuts, or enjoy some of the many other offerings such as gummies, wax bottles, and PEZ.
“Many of our customers have moved that way,” said Renee Ryan, the store’s long-time manager.
Fellow employee Janice Swanson agreed with Ryan and said customers who have migrated across the state border have been eagerly anticipating the move since they saw the sign go up in Schererville.
“They just can’t wait,” Swanson said. “They come here and yell at us, ‘when’s it gonna open, why isn’t it?'”
All three employees from the Lansing store are expected to move to the Schererville location, which will likely open in early August.
Ryan said at one time the plan was to keep the Lansing location open and add the Schererville store but that difficulty finding reliable workers and issues with getting candy caused a change in plans.
A “bittersweet” move
Ryan said leaving Lansing will be “bittersweet.”
“I’m gonna cry,” Ryan said. “Yeah, I am.”
Swanson said many people have come in to take pictures after finding out the Lansing store is closing.
“I’d say 85 percent are very happy we’re moving there,” Ryan said. “Some are not.”
Ryan said those not happy about the move live nearby and most are older and don’t like to drive too far.
“It’s like a landmark leaving Lansing,” Ryan said. “It truly is.”