Car crashes into Candy Kitchen on center square

March 30, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Chocolate bunnies, a glass window and other fixtures were damaged in an early morning accident Wednesday on Waynesboro's center square.

Waynesboro police said Gary L. Hunter of 18 1/2 S. Grant St., Waynesboro, was driving a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser that hit a parking meter, continued onto the sidewalk and struck the Candy Kitchen.

John Leos, who operates the business with his mother, was sleeping upstairs when he heard a crash at 3:30 a.m., but he didn't find anything amiss upstairs and went back to sleep.

Then, at 4 a.m., he received a call from police.

"I walked out and thought, 'Lord, have mercy,'" he said.

Police were joined by members of Waynesboro's fire department and ambulance squad as they worked to clean up the wreck and treat Hunter for minor injuries to his face. The car was towed.


The cause of the accident was under investigation, according to Waynesboro Police Chief Ray Shultz.

One of the historic building's windows shattered, stained glass above another cracked, display shelving twisted and pictures and merchandise scattered to the hardwood floor.

In fact, only two things along the west wall of the Candy Kitchen remained intact - a framed photograph of owner Despina Leos and another of her late husband, Petros Leos.

"That, to me, is very symbolic. Everything fell except those two photographs. That's the staying power of love," John Leos said.

The Candy Kitchen remained open Wednesday as the glass was removed and the window boarded up.

"Everything is business as usual," Leos said. "Just pardon our mess."

Built in the 1800s, the structure at 12 E. Main St. was first a house, then a federal building. It was renovated in the late 1880s to adopt a Victorian style.

Nevie Dietrich, a homeopathic physician, and a live-in nurse used the building for a number of years. It adopted an aristocratic feel during that time, according to Leos.

Dietrich's estate sale in 1930 drew people from as far as New York. The Leos, who entered the candy business in 1902, bought the building they had rented since 1917 at that estate sale.

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