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Parrot Confectionery: 98 years old and adapting

Posted at 3:21 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 17:21:20-04

Montana’s stay-at-home order means changes for many businesses, but the 98-year-old Parrot Confectionery in Helena is adapting.

Despite slower-than-usual foot traffic, employees have been busy prepping for Easter, the second busiest holiday for the Parrot, according to head confectioner Karlee Kleinschmidt.

“We make hundreds of bunnies, and a couple hundred eggs every year,” said Kleinschmidt at the shop on Wednesday.

In order to social distance, they're now allowing just two customers in the shop at the time. But despite the slower foot traffic, regulars still need a chocolate fix, just in time for the holiday.

The shop has always shipped out orders, even across the country and worldwide. But now, even more people are ordering treats.

“We’ll send out probably hundreds of boxes, for sure,” said Kleinschmidt.

The shop’s owner, Jonny, says they’ve nearly doubled the amount of orders they’re shipping.

It’s welcome news for the candy shop, who had to shut down in-store dining.

“We put a lot of work into it, so for them to still want it, and for us to still be able to provide it, it makes us very happy, too,” said Kleinschmidt.

According to Jonny, the Parrot is also hiring summer help, ahead of a hopefully-busy tourist season.

It will take time to hire and train someone, so they are leaving the sign in the window.

"You never know when someone might see it and walk in,” said Kleinschmidt. “Even people right now, you know, who lost their job, could be looking for something new."

The shop is currently open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

You can reach them at 406-442-1470. Customers can pick up orders at the store, and also order chili and hot dogs to go.

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