Continuing the Sweet Tradition
According to earlier publications of the Lafayette Leader, 536 Main Street “was originally constructed (between 1865 and 1870), at the height of the Second Empire style’s popularity, as a home, which explains its magnificent interior staircases and original arched limestone entrance that rose several steps above street level. A touch of Paris is evident in the building with its attractive windows…” It later became the site of a bank operated by John Heath.
“When Mr. and Mrs. Glatz leased it, the first floor was up a flight of stairs, and on the ground floor was a barber shop; above it was a millinery shop. The Glatz’ remodeled the store, bringing the main floor down to street level.” Street levels were changed in the early 1900’s after regular flooding of the (now underground) Pearl River, which also meant changing store entrances and access to the basements – for coal, then oil, and for deliveries and supplies. When all this happened, they lowered the first floor of the candy store so as to be on street level; this also then reduced half the basement to its present crawl space.
Downtown Lafayette was so attractive back then because “the churches and stores were all in close proximity; everyone rode the streetcars; and the store was open seven days a week, from 8:00 in the morning until 10:00 or 11:00 at night because of all the theaters downtown and streetcar availability.”
Today, the original old-fashioned soda fountain and original wooden cases and cabinets are still in use, with the “new balcony” / mezzanine added in 1919.
Mr. and Mrs. Lee Glatz established the business October 1, 1912. Mr. Glatz was one of the city’s most popular businessmen, who died unexpectedly August 8, 1928, since which time his widow continued to operate the establishment with its original copper kettles, wooden paddles, and cooling tables that originally served as blackboards at the old Jefferson High School.
The store was sold by Mrs. Glatz to the McCord’s in 1947, although Jack worked at the store from 1917, to 1975 when he could no longer climb the stairs due to a stroke. As reported by his daughter, “Dad ate a lot of candy and always had an ice-cream sundae after every meal; he was pretty good size for a number of years.”
As reported in the September 27, 1984 edition of the Lafayette Leader, McCord Candies was sold by son Jack (who was also Tippecanoe County Assessor) and Genevieve Mc Cord, to Bob and Judi Spitalniak of Frankfort.
According to a December 1, 1988 Journal & Courier article, the store changed hands again in July of ’88, when Dave and Linda Steckler supposedly purchased it. (There is no evidence at this point that they ever really took ownership of the store.)
We know that in April of 1988, Louise and Larry Knoy purchased the business.
Tom and Rita Quatrocchi, owned McCord’s from 1997 to 2005, and have since retired and moved to Indianapolis.
Mike and Melissa Becker purchased the business in the summer of 2005.
Denise and Ken Bootsma purchased the business from Mike Becker and the building from Bruce Logan on June 7, 2017.