Downtown Wilmington Business Has New Owners

By Cece Nunn, posted Jun 7, 2018
Geoffrey Decker and his fiancee, Julianne Castillo, are the new owners of Olde Wilmington Toy & Candy Co. at the Cotton Exchange in downtown Wilmington. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
A business in the Cotton Exchange that caters to children and tourists has changed hands.

Olde Wilmington Toy & Candy Co. was purchased by Julianne Castillo and her fiance, Geoffrey Decker, after previous owner Jessica Marler decided to turn her attention to a new endeavor.

Olde Wilmington Toy & Candy Co., which faces the parking lot at the Cotton Exchange, sells candy and toys, as the name suggests, but also Wilmington souvenirs, kites (the space used to be a kite store) and other gift items, including soap creations from The Soap Farm.

Castillo will be incorporating another business she owns, Port City Princess Parties, into Olde Wilmington Toy & Candy Co. with special princess and fairy events.

"What originally happened was that Jess [the store's previous owner], she was actually my old business partner because she had seen what I was doing and she was like, 'Hey I think that's a good fit for the toy store,' so we had done a lot of collaborative events and they always did really well for our sales here," Castillo said. As a result, Marler asked Castillo if she would be interested in taking over the store when she moved on.

Decker and Castillo said they are planning to add to the store's inventory of candy and Wilmington souvenirs and more actively promote the business. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday, June 14-Aug. 9, the store will host craft time with princesses and other characters for a small fee.

The couple is optimistic that the successful store will continue to succeed under their ownership.

"If you've got the drive and you've got the plan, then you can step into action," Decker said.

While Castillo will be in charge of Olde Wilmington Toy & Candy Co., Decker will also be serving as general manager for the planned Wilmington location of Crave Hot Dogs and Barbecue.
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