Business Profile

Kilwins – “Sweet in every Sense since 1947”

Dani and Javi with freshly made caramel corn
Dani and Javi with freshly made caramel corn

I must walk down King Street, especially the lower 6 blocks, 10-15 times a week and lately it seems like there are new stores opening up every other day! On a recent trek, I stumbled upon the newly opened Kilwins candy and ice cream store that opened in the old P&C Fine Art space at 212 King. What a nice addition to our main drag!

I must have been living under a rock since I moved to this area in 1992 but I had no idea that “Kilwins” is a pretty big deal in these parts. I do like ice cream and my fair share of caramels and dark chocolate but it isn’t something I actively seek out – that has changed, however, since I found this place!

For those of you who are like me, here is a little background information on this Michigan-based concept that I found on their website:

“Since 1947 Kilwins has been a celebrated part of Americana having earned a reputation for providing high quality products and excellent service. Our heritage was built on the simple premise of creating our products from the finest ingredients and providing customers with great service. Today we continue the tradition by uniquely combining high quality products with a warm friendly customer experience that is supported through a successful community of caring owner operators. We continue to offer the finest quality, traditional down-home confections and ice cream that are kitchen made fresh from premium ingredients and original recipes.

Our values are simple; Treat others as you want to be treated, Do your best, and Have fun! These values translate directly to a culture of people who are driven to provide an exceptional confectionery experience. Coupled with our high quality products, in-store craftsmanship, and genuinely friendly staff we create an atmosphere that our customers want to visit again and again. From sight, to taste, touch, smell and sound a visit to Kilwins provides an authentic sensory and taste experience like none other. Our customers have come to know and love us as “My Kilwins” and share Kilwins with friends and family. Kilwins is where people celebrate, vacation, and share the experience of life, family, and gifting in a nostalgic Americana setting.”

The Old Town location is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Javiar (Javi) and Danielle (Dani) Groisman. After my interview with them, you can tell that the really love what they do. Javi’s family is from Argentina but he was born in the United States and raised in St.Louis, Missouri. Dani is a local – born and raised in Potomac, Maryland. Javi told me that they met on the very first day of their freshman year at George Washington University and instantly became best friends. That first encounter was just the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Though they both had careers in the 9-5 world, they knew that they would be happiest if they could work together. Their plan came to fruition when Dani and her mother Nancy decided it would be a good idea to buy in to the Kilwin franchise. They discovered this divine candy and ice cream palace while vacationing in Rehoboth, Delaware and Del Ray, Florida.

There simply isn’t enough room in this column to describe every confection that they carry at the store. While I was there Dani was making fresh caramel corn and the store smelled heavenly!! This caramel corn makes Cracker Jack look like an amateur! I am particularly enamored with the several types of caramel apples that they sell. I somehow think I am eating a “healthy” snack when biting into one of these. Everything in the store with the exception of the ice cream is made in-house. Dani is the one in charge of product so she has her hands in the making of everything. Javi handles the business side of this venture and the combination seems to work like a charm. They also live above the store so they really are “living” the dream.

If you haven’t discovered our local Kilwins, please treat yourself and stop by. The store is located at 212 King Street here in Old Town Alexandria.

Written by: Lani Gering

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