Gyan and Maurice Galoob likened their sale of The Candy Basket, 2001 W. Main St., to an arranged adoption to known parents, with unlimited future visitation rights.

“Thanks for taking care of our baby,” Gyan told new owners Roland and John Lohmann, a father-son team who will operate the store along with several family members.

Friends, customers and family members gathered in the shopping center’s parking lot Friday morning for a formal ribbon cutting, short speeches and a rabbi’s blessing and affixing the Mazuzah on the store’s doorway.

The store, owned by the Galoobs since July of 1989, began a few years earlier at 12th and Santa Fe in Moore in 1984 as Jared’s Limited by Gyan’s brother Jared Summers.

The Galoobs moved it to Norman and expanded their space in 1999. Both said the sale was bittersweet and they would be working with the new owners to assure a smooth transition.

“We have been told that after 22 years in the town, we are a fixture,” said Maurice Galoob. “We have overcome many obstacles. We both had serious illnesses, the economy, our parents’ passing, but we are still here.”

Roland Lohmann, a physical therapist, met Maurice and Gyan while studying music. They came to know him while Roland was a performer and the Galoobs in the pit orchestra at the Pollard Theatre in Guthrie.

He had been a customer of the store for many years but came in the store in August of 2010 and announced his interest in purchasing The Candy Basket.

The deal was completed in September and the Roland family began operations July 1.

Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, of the Chabad Community Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City, affixed the Mazuzah to the store’s entryway. He said the symbol does not indicate the store has all kosher products. It merely reminds passersby of God’s presence in their daily lives.

“Whether we are coming or leaving, God’s presence is always with us,” he said.

Andy Rieger 366-3543

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