Norman residents looking to satisfy their sweet tooth have a new option in town.
Jonathan Jantz and his wife Christa opened their newest Pinkitzel candy and cupcake store location at 2001 W. Main Street in Carriage Plaza earlier in July, bringing the first store of the well-known Oklahoma candy brand to Norman.
The Jantz family opened the first Pinkitzel location in downtown Oklahoma City in 2010. Since then, they have expanded to four locations across the state.
They lived in Edmond for 18 years before moving to Norman to be closer to their daughter, who is a student at the University of Oklahoma.
When Peter Gianos, the owner of Carriage Plaza, recently came into their Edmond store and said he had a suite open about half way between the OU campus and I-35, Jonathan decided to work with him to make it happen.
“We really wanted to put a store in here where we live and get tied to the community, and Norman is a great town,” Jonathan said. “The Candy Basket has been closed for a while and they did so well in Norman, so we thought this would be a great location for us.”
According to Jonathan, Pinkitzel is popular with women for bridal and baby shower needs. Jonathan said he and his wife have tried to create an atmosphere that is welcoming to families, which he described as "Marie Antoinette meets Willy Wonka."
Pinkitzel is a play on the words "kitzel," which means "tickle" in Yiddish, and pink, as in "tickled pink," Jonathan said. He said while Pinkitzel is most known for its cupcakes, the store carries over 100 types of bulk candy for customers to mix and match.
“Some of it is pretty rare,” Jonathan said. “Customers can come in and make their own cupcakes or just come in and have dessert.”
The store’s opening comes at a time when some businesses are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan said operating during the pandemic has meant making adjustments to their focus.
Pinkitzel has prioritized sanitization practices and also decided to offer free deliveries, Jonathan said. He said the business has done a large number of deliveries to front-line workers and teachers after schools closed down.
“We have an online store where you can order for pickup or delivery, and deliveries are free across the OKC metro area,” Jonathan said. “Hopefully here in Norman that will be great for parents who have kids at OU or just customers (who) want to send something special to anyone really.”
Jonathan said it has been challenging to reconfigure and get everything to a point where the business is still successful, but he has learned to roll with the punches and figure how to make it work.
“It’s kind of crazy to be opening a store during all of this, but the Gianos family just made it happen and we couldn’t not do it,” Jonathan said. “We have been able to get everything we needed to get it open, so it just turned out to be a perfect time for us.”
Jantz said he loves building a reputation as the locally-owned, family-owned go-to spot for cupcakes and sweets, and hopes to continue that in Norman.
“We hope to cater to college kids that might be homesick, or make an order that is going to someone in the hospital,” Jantz said. “We love it when Pinkitzel can bring a smile to someone’s face.”
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