See's opens at Columbia Center

A visit to Columbia Center mall in Kennewick has been a bit sweeter since See's Candies opened a new store across from the food court.

See's Candies isn't a stranger to the mall. The company's had a kiosk there during the holidays for 10 years, said Shar Meyers, See's district manager.

"The kiosks have done well and we've enjoyed being there," she said. "We feel the Tri-Cities is a great community to have a See's Candies store. We're excited to be there (at the mall) and hope to make it work."

See's Candies once had a store on Columbia Center Boulevard, across from the mall. It closed in 1999 after six years. Since then, customers had to order via the internet or catalog, or stock up during the Christmas holidays.

"We're excited to have them here. We've had great customer feedback already," said Kim Harvey, marketing manager for the mall. "See's Candies is a favorite brand in the West, and I think people are really excited to have them back permanently, not just for a few months."

If you've shopped at the kiosk, you'll see a familiar face at the new See's store. The manager, Jette Cluck, has been managing the company's holiday kiosks for a decade.

"The customers seem to know and like her," Meyers said. "She was a good choice."

The storefront means there's a lot more space for their tasty treats. The only thing lacking at the Columbia Center mall store that some other locations have is a bulk case for picking out individual candies.

"Everything at the mall is boxed," Meyers said. "But you can buy some of the company's most popular bulk candies -- like Butterscotch Squares and Pecan Buds -- in half pound bags."

With a storefront there's more space to bring in holiday specials including 3.5-ounce hollow chocolate turkeys.

"Chocolate, now that's the kind of turkey I want for Thanksgiving," Harvey said.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.