TOTM Flesors

Flesor’s Candy Kitchen co-owner Devon Flesor Story shows off the store's book exchange and donation jar, whose proceeds go to the Tuscola library.

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This week’s stop in our video series on local businesses with stories to tell: Flesor’s Candy Kitchen in Tuscola.

When Flesor’s Candy Kitchen owners Devon Flesor Story and Ann Flesor Beck expanded their store in 2016, they all of a sudden had an abundance of space. No longer were they cramped with their various ventures at the popular Tuscola restaurant and candy and ice cream shop.

So they built bookshelves and filled them with books from their homes, which they had plenty of. Beck has a Ph.D. and Story is a former English instructor at Eastern Illinois.

“We are highly overeducated confectioners,” she said. “We love books and we wanted to bring our own books into the store as sort of a decorative element.”

The simple decorative bookshelves, though, blossomed into a full-fledged book exchange.

“Our customers said, ‘Oh, we have extra books. Can we bring books in?’” Story said. “And other people said, ‘Oh, are those books for sale? And we’d say, ‘No, they’re free.’ So what’s happened over time is that we have a wall of hundreds and hundreds of books. They’re given to us freely and then we give them freely to customers.”

Flesor’s has become a tourist attraction, attracting people from across the country. One day, the store received a package from one of those customers.

“She said, ‘I’m really enjoying the books I took from your store a few months ago. Here are some of mine. Please enjoy,’” Story said. “And she paid for postage. I was touched.”