Lights going out at Amber Light Confectionary

The landmark general store will cease operation at the end of this month as principals Sherry and Caloger Graci retire.

  • Apr. 7, 2014 2:00 p.m.
Amber Light Confectionary's  Alex and Sherry Graci. The landmark Cawston general store's proprietors are retiring at the end of the month.

Amber Light Confectionary's Alex and Sherry Graci. The landmark Cawston general store's proprietors are retiring at the end of the month.

The Amber Light Confectionary began as a family based business in Cawston 25 years ago.

The landmark general store will cease operation at the end of this month as principals Sherry and Caloger Graci retire.

Sherry, Cal and sons Alex and Tony began the operation in 1989. In the 1990s the business also contained a restaurant as well, where breakfasts and lunches were served.

“We were known for having the best burgers around,” said Alex, who has been spending time at the store assisting his mother as she sells off remaining inventory through the rest of April.

“Burgers or soup,” recalled Sherry, “I remember cooking the same thing for two years straight for Joe Boult. Art Wainwright used to bring his own soup bowl.

It’s funny, the things you remember years later.”

The restaurant closed after five years of operation.

“I just couldn’t keep up with demand,” Sherry said, “We built an addition to the store after that.”

The Amber Light carried a unique selection of merchandise over the years. Cal  has a well known local reputation for his musical skills, having once been part of local groups the Blackbirds and the Patient Gang. He began stocking a wide range of musical accessories, after realizing there was no opportunity in the Lower Similkameen for musicians to purchase items like  guitar strings .

The store also carried a large stock of incense and video rentals. A big draw over the years were the famous candy grab bags that enticed children into the store.

“We’ve sold guitars, drums and handmade soaps at one time or another,” Sherry said.

Alex described his parents’ next step a “new beginning”.

“They want to sell the business,” he said, “they hope someone in the community will take it over.”

As of the end of April however, one way or another, the daily, seven day a week routine of operating the store will be over for the Gracies.

“It’s been fun,” Sherry said of the years at the store, “this place has been a store since I was a child – I grew up here – I never dreamed that someday I would own it.” Sherry said a big part of their time at the Amber Light was watching the neighbourhood kids grow up.

“It’s been a long journey,” Sherry said, “we couldn’t have done it without the outstanding support this wonderful community has given us over the past 25 years.”

Sherry has no immediate plans after retirement to anything other than relax in her backyard.

“We’ll miss everyone,” she said.

Join Sherry and Cal on Sunday, April 27 for free cake and coffee from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Final day is  Wednesday, April 30.