ADRIAN — “The King of Rock and Roll,” along with classic cars and bikes, a hula hoop contest and a bubble gum blowing contest were all a part of the lineup Tuesday evening when a downtown Adrian retro and vintage store celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Nova’s Soda Pop Candy Shop, 105 E. Church St., marked two decades of business in Adrian with its monthly Tuesday’s at Nova’s community event in the parking lot along East Church Street and next to the downtown Adrian storefront. Nova’s is across East Church Street from the Lenawee County Historical Museum.
The official commemoration of the store’s 20th anniversary was Aug. 2. When it first opened, the store was not in its current location.
Nova’s opened in 2002 on North Main Street in downtown Adrian selling candles, candle accessories and collectibles. When it relocated in 2012 to its current East Church Street location, Nova’s became what it is today: a store with a nostalgic atmosphere and a feel of yesteryear.
“We started out over on Main Street and we started out with just candles and the metal signs,” Nova’s co-owner David Spencley said. “And we stayed over there 10 years, and then in 2012, we were able to purchase this building. And then we went wild. We got the pop and the candy and everything.”
As a retro candy and soda pop store, Nova’s has current but also vintage and harder to find candies. It sells glass bottles of pop, new and used vinyl records, vintage metal signs, bulk chocolate, comic books, fudge, peanuts, snow cones and, of course, its well-known, in-house popped popcorn, which is a community favorite snack when it is enjoyed by people of all ages during downtown Adrian’s monthly First Fridays events.
“Since we moved over here, we've added a lot of products, and the latest product that we added was the vinyl records,” Spencley said. “It just took off. It’s been going really well. We sell new and used records.”
A fairly recent offering from the store has been its Tuesday at Nova’s events, which Spencley called a success, especially this year.
In 2021, the store conducted weekly events each Tuesday during the summer, which turned out to be a bit too much of planning and organizing, Spencley said. This year, the events are on the second Tuesday of the month, May through October. A theme has not yet been picked out for the September offering, but October’s event will feature apple cider, doughnuts and a taste of autumn.
Thirty-year Elvis Presley impersonator Matt King returned to Nova’s after performing there in July. Attendance was just as good, if not better, this time around, Spencley said.
Fitting with the music of Elvis, the event was a 1950s-60s celebration that featured a hula hoop contest and a bubblegum blowing contest. The public was encouraged to dress in their best time-period fashion and could win a Nova’s gift certificate.
Most of the time, the store's customers are parents bringing their kids at least twice a week, Spencley said, because even the parents are intrigued by Nova’s and its offerings.
“Honestly, I’ve watched kids grow up,” he said. “And we’ve become a destination for a lot of folks out of town, too.”
Nova’s is very much a family-run business. Spencley co-owns the store with his wife, Nova, the namesake of the business. His older sister, Sharon Hawkins, has been with the store for its entire 20-year run. Hawkins and Spencley are two of eight siblings, with Spencley being the youngest.
When First Fridays rolls around each month, and during the Tuesday at Nova’s events, Spencley’s grandchildren will lend some helping hands, he said.
Hawkins said working at the store alongside her brother has been “an adventure.” It’s also been the first time she has held a job for 20 years.
“It's very adventurous, especially when you see the children come in and the excitement on their face when they see what all we have. It’s very satisfying,” she said. “I love the customers a lot. I’ve met so many customers over the years I have worked here.
“From selling the candles to all of this, it’s certainly been a journey.”
The business, Spencley said, began as a retirement venture for he and his wife.
“In 2002, we had a passion for this stuff. In 2022, we have an even bigger passion,” Spencley said. “That’s what keeps us going. We like what we do and we have fun doing it. When people walk into the store, for many of them, it’s like walking back into time.”
At a glance
What: Nova’s Soda Pop Candy Shop
Address: 105 E. Church St., Adrian
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
Facebook: Nova’s and Nova’s Soda Pop Candy Shop
This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Nova's Soda Pop Candy Shop in Adrian celebrates 20 years in business