Historic Bay City business, property for sale

The business and property of St. Laurent Brothers in downtown Bay City are up for sale.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:09 PM EST
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BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) - The business and property of St. Laurent Brothers in downtown Bay City are up for sale.

The historic and unique candy shop has been a “must-stop” for visitors for generations, and the owner said he hopes that will continue.

The current owners are the only group to own the business outside of the original family, and they said they’re ready to pass the torch.

“It’s very hard to leave,” said Steve Frye, the owner.

But Frye said it is time.

“I been here 38 years, and my wife and I are ready to move on to grandkids and other things, so soon,” Frye said.

Soon, Frye said they will sell the business and the building.

The store occupies a building that previously was a European hotel. It opened in 1904 and has long been a favorite stop for Michigan travelers, offering a variety of hard-to-find candies, assorted chocolates, and freshly roasted nuts.

“It has stayed an old fashion candy store. Sometimes there’s eight, 10 clerks working, weighing out exactly what you want. If you want a quarter pound, we’ll give you a quarter pound, if you want 10 pounds, you’ll get 10 pounds,” Frye said. “It’s just a very unique shop in the fact that it still functions as shops did in the old.”

Tootsie Rolls, Circus Peanuts, and Good and Plenty are just a few of the old fashion candies that the shop sells, but their biggest claim to fame is their hand-dipped chocolates.

“We still roast all our nuts upstairs. All the nut meats come in here raw from different areas in the country and the world,” Frye said. “The same with the peanut butter, we bring in raw peanuts from the southeast and the southwest. We put in two different kinds and we mill them upstairs, so our natural peanut butter is still made on the premises.”

Frye told his loyal customers that he would find a way to ensure that the business will not end up closing.

“It’s been an anchor on this corner for well over 100 years and I would certainly hope that it would continue on to be the anchor with the red and white awnings, and people getting their first jobs, and a very loyal bunch of employees that we’ve had continue on for the next 140 years,” Frye said.

Ayre Rhinehart Bay Realtors is advertising the property and the business with a listing price of over $1.6 million.