The great thing about living and doing business in Jefferson City is that we have wonderful small businesses that bring flavor to our community. When Margie ‘Rose’ Sapanas decided to open Uniquely Rose, her sweet home décor boutique at 704 W. Main Street, she and her husband, Steve, talked about many ideas. He said, “We need candy for our customers.” He went to the store and brought Margie a bag of Kisses, and he always made sure she had them on hand, plus he found the perfect candy dish… a glass version of a Hershey’s Kiss. Today, that candy dish has held thousands of Kisses, and now they represent thousands of wishes.
What many do not know is that under the shop is a cool basement with hand-hewn beams, stone foundation, and steel doors. One day, Margie went downstairs and noticed something shiny on the floor. As she got closer, she recognized the Hershey’s Kisses wrappers. Her grandson had eaten Kisses and didn’t want her to know how many he had. He found a hole in the floor where a knot in the wood had fallen out, and he threw his wrappers down the hole.
When she came back up, she thought it would be fun if the kids who visit the store would also throw their wrappers down the hole and make a wish. As Margie has shared this sweet story with her customers, the kids have become bigger kids and then older kids…from 3 to 93. After all, who doesn’t like chocolate Kisses, and who doesn’t like the hopeful anticipation of making a wish?
As Margie tells the story of how it all started, you can see the pleasure she takes in this sweet tradition. Customers and friends who come to the shop are offered chocolate Kisses and she tells them, “Make a wish and throw the wrapper down the hole in the floor.” Each person approaches their wish differently… many think carefully, while others quickly decide. She always tells them, “Don’t tell me what you wish for, but please come back and let me know if it came true.” She has had several people come back to share their wish, and what happened. Margie always says, “If the wish comes true, it’s the good Lord that answered them.” Sometimes the wishes are emotional, sometimes they are inspirational, and sometimes they are just “fun.”
Always a source of conversation, people are curious about the details. She was asked, “Do you have a trash can down there to catch the wrappers?” No, she lets them accumulate as the very first ones did. After all, she says with a smile, “It’s a personal wish, and they have to stay.” Many of her customers are visitors from out of town. They always try to make a special trip by the store to make a wish. One, in particular, came back and was crying because her wish came true. The stories are so special, and sometimes so personal, that she is happy to be there to hear them. People ask, “How many bags of Kisses have you purchased?” She smiles, but she doesn’t really know. They didn’t keep track from the beginning, but there are thousands of wrappers in the basement.
If the little kids are especially good while they are in the store, she offers them a second chocolate Kiss and shows them the other hole in the floor where they can make a second wish. It’s all so much fun and you can tell that Margie takes great pleasure in her sweet tradition. Stop by to see Margie at Uniquely Rose, enjoy her store, have a chocolate Kiss, and may all your wishes come true!