By Maxime Frechette
St-Césaire, Quebec-based candy retailer KandJu is launching an aggressive retail expansion. The company has seen success with its first six locations in the Montreal area, and it will continue to open locations into 2018 with an expansion within the province of Quebec, followed by a national expansion.
KandJu was founded in 2013 by Marie-Ève Gladu and François St-Laurent, and it quickly gained brand awareness for its candy skewers and cones sold under the brand name Marie & Franky. In addition to offering a wide selection of self-service confectionery with about 250 choices, KandJu also offers unique gift sets. The retailer currently operates six retail stores in the Montreal region, with its most recent store having opened in March of this year at Centropolis Laval.
KandJu is a division of candy company Ludik, which was founded by KandJu’s owners in 2006. Ludik Candy Designer's products are now distributed in more than 2,000 points of sale across Canada.
Three more KandJu locations are confirmed to be opening this year. One will be at the Guy-Concordia metro station in Montreal, which will no doubt become a popular destination for students and office workers seeking a sugar fix. A second location is confirmed for the Les Avenues Vaudreuil retail complex outside of Montreal — a groundbreaking project that continues to announce new tenants. A third boutique will open this year in Granby — a community located between Montreal and Sherbrooke.
For 2018, KandJu is targeting more communities in Quebec to open locations, including Québec City, Sherbrooke, Drummondville and Victoriaville. KandJu seeks retail spaces in the 1,000 to 1,150 square foot range with a minimum 20 foot linear frontage in regional shopping centres, lifestyle centres, as well as urban street-front locations.
Co-founder Marie-Ève Gladu confirms that each of these stores will cost close to $200,000 to construct.
KandJu is working with broker Manon Parisien of Aurora Realty Consultants for its Canadian expansion. Marie-Ève Gladu says that Ontario would be her first target for stores outside of Quebec, and that other provinces could follow.