"This location is exactly what I thought it should be," Gula said about the little corner shop at 104 Calendar Ave. I thought it would have been the best location for the customers who already came in Brookfield. It’s so much more convenient and centrally located here. La Grange allowed me to give myself a brand identity."
That brand is essentially an old time-y chocolate shop transported to the 21st century. Although the look is fresh and inviting, the La Grange shop, which opened in November 2010, is all about the original recipes and eternal favorites.
Long before Gula was involved with Lilett', the candy store was building a name when Jim and Lillian Manusos opened it in Chicago in 1949, then moved it to Broadview. The business was sold in 1987, moved to Brookfield and cut the ice cream, solely focusing on the chocolates and candies in such high demand.
In the meantime, Gula enrolled in a chocolate class at the Wilton School in Woodridge, and a new hobby was born. Eventually she turned it into a business, Karand Chocolate, as a wholesale chocolatier. She met the new owners of Lilett' when it moved to Brookfield and occasionally worked in their kitchen.
When the opportunity came to buy Lilett' in 2000, Gula saw the perfect opportunity to carry on the tradition and bring her own business sense into the fold.
"Our focus is on making candies by our recipes, and we have a nice selection," Gula said. "Everything is original from what we started with. We’re true to form. People look for good consistency and quality."
Lillet' will close from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3, and then will be preparing for the start of the true busy season, Gula said. That means caramel apples and other fall treats. For now, the candy store is offering some summertime favorites, including root beer floats, ice cream sandwiches and more through Aug. 28.