Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship and sweets lovers are celebrating the return of rock candy, chocolates, wax bottles and jelly beans to Belmont Boulevard as student-operated Buzzy’s returned to its original home this month where it opened four years earlier.
The candy shop relocated two doors down to a bigger suite in the storefront that is now McAlister’s Deli before a foiled contract with a national yogurt company forced the student-run business to close its doors.
Along with Feedback Clothing Co., BLVD Music Shop and Buzzy’s operate in the Curb Event Center space that has been set aside by Belmont University to give students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in operating a small business.
“The purpose of the stores is that they are a learning environment, a hands-on opportunity for student entrepreneurs to learn real life business lessons. While profits are important, they are not the sole purpose of the stores,” said Center for Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator Lisa Davis, adding she receives inquiries from other universities monthly on how to get similar student-run ventures on their campuses. “Reopening Buzzy’s, that was tradition at Belmont and in the local neighborhood community, is something we have wanted to do for the past couple of years. The management of BLVD Music Shop agreed it was a great idea to bring traffic into the music store and bring Buzzy’s back into its original space.”
Alumna Mandy Strader (’12), one of the original founders of Buzzy’s, assisted current students and the Center for Entrepreneurship with the unwrapping of the new store. The new Buzzy’s has more modern sweets, like Sour Patch, Dove and Heath bars, than the former candy shop, which focused on old school candies.
Now Runts, Skittles and Whirly Pops sit alongside second-hand keyboards, sheet music and guitar picks in BLVD Music Shop, a consignment store at the corner of Belmont Boulevard and Bernard Avenue that opened in August 2011. The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
“It’s a learning process because it’s been a year in the making,” said junior entrepreneurship major Kathleen Alegre, the candy manager for BLVD Music Shop and Buzzy’s. “It’s a little awkward having instruments and candy together but not difficult because candy is appreciated everywhere.”