LIVONIA, MI-Nearly a decade after Sanders confections left Detroit-area shelves, another candy maker has sought to revive its sales. Morley Candy has opened its first Sanders outlet at Laurel Park Place mall, and is looking to expand, company officials say.

The 1,100-sf store sells ice cream, bumpy cakes, hot fudge cream puffs and sundaes, along with boxed and bulk chocolates, all bearing the Sanders name. Morley bought the Sanders brand in July 2002 and sells the company’s chocolates and toppings in a variety of retail outlets and online.

Fred Sanders opened his first shop in 1875 in Detroit and the chain grew to almost 60 stores. It encountered financial difficulties, and was sold to a Connecticut bakery. The last stores with the Sanders name disappeared in 1996.

“When Morley bought Sanders, it was always in the plans to open a store, but they had to get acclimated to owning the brand and marketing the brand,” says Diane Lynch, marketing manager for Morley and Sanders, who started working for Sanders in 1987.

The store opened earlier this month in a former candy outlet at the mall and also sells a variety of Morley products. The deal to open the store came together in 45 days, says Casey Petz, candy shops operations manager for Morley, which operates Morley stores in Rochester, Eastpointe and Clinton Township.

Petz expects the number of Sanders customers to increase from 80 to 100 customers up to 500 a day during the busy Christmas and Easter seasons. Morley also will be placing a great emphasis on the Sanders brand in the coming months.

With the early success at the first store, Morley is scouting sites for a second Sanders outlet that could feature a soda fountain, but not sandwiches, due to the extremely competitive market in that category.

“We are looking all over the metro area to open another store in the next six months to a year,” Petz says. “If we find the right opportunity, it will be an easy decision for us.”

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