TUSCOLA – One of Tuscola's top tourist attractions could soon be expanding.
The Tuscola City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to authorize City Administrator Drew Hoel to negotiate a contract to provide tax increment financing district money to Flesor's Candy Kitchen.
Co-owners Devon Flesor Nau and Ann Flesor Beck said they will use the money to hire architect Bill Moorehead of Moorehead Gruber Architects of Champaign to prepare a preliminary structural analysis of a building next door to the candy shop.
The vacant building at 103-105 Sale Street was most recently used as the 1871 Luncheonette Diner.
Flesor Nau said she plans to wait until the structural analysis is completed before the two sisters decide whether to purchase the Luncheonette building.
"We don't know what kind of shape the building is in," Flesor Nau said.
Tuscola Mayor Dan Kleiss said that using tax increment financing district money for the candy shop is a good investment for the community.
"Flesor's has been terrific for Tuscola, and we need to know more about the building next door so it can grow as our community grows," Kleiss said.
Flesor's Candy Kitchen has received visitors from across North America since its recent appearance in American Profile magazine and the CBS Evening News.
In addition, the Flesors were chosen to provide candy to the Illinois State Fair in 2006.
With crowds on the rise at the candy shop, Flesor Beck said the sisters began to explore the possibility of expanding the business.
Flesor Nau said expansion is necessary in order to double the kitchen space needed for candy production.
"We're getting a lot more orders by Internet, and we're getting more orders off the street," Flesor Beck said.
"The shape of our expansion will be determined by the integrity of the building next door. If the results of the study don't turn out great for us, we'll have to look somewhere else," Flesor Nau said. "We're trying to get a sense of how we're going to expand."