Rudd and Jeffery Morgan are very involved in the candy store, with Rudd even working at the register occasionally.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on January 12, 2022. It has since been updated.
Samuel’s Sweet Shop has always been an integral part of the community in Rhinebeck, New York. The quaint little candy store had a bunch of loyal customers, including actors and Hudson Valley residents Paul Rudd and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
But, in 2014, when the owner of the store, Ira Gutner, died, it was on the verge of closing down.
Since Rudd and Morgan had been coming here for ages, just like so many others in the area, and couldn't stand the thought of the establishment shutting down, reported USA Today. Eventually, the actors, and their spouses Julie Rudd and Hilarie Burton, decided to buy the shop to maintain it as it was, as a gift to themselves and the community.
The fact that two big names in the industry invested in a small-time business came as a surprise to many, given how celebrities usually tend to invest in big and glamorous businesses, and this was far from it.
For them though, it was a very personal decision. Rudd and Jeffery Morgan are very involved in the candy store with the former even working at the register occasionally. The store serves up candies, desserts, and pastries among other things.
As for Rudd, he believes it's important to feel that connection and be part of the community. "One of the most important things any human can experience is to be a part of a community and feel connected to where you live and to other people who live there, especially in a job like mine," said Rudd.
Morgan says he's always felt at home in Rhinebeck, describing it as our town. "It's the first time I've felt at home in my entire adult life. It's a combination of the people and the scenery. It's a different vibe from my 20 years in LA when I didn't even know my neighbors," said Morgan.
While the sweet shop might be backed by popular movie stars, the management consists essentially of local people. John Traver, who started working for Gutner at the age of 15 is now running the shop. “It continued to operate in the wake of Ira’s death. Due to lots of hard work and good fortune, it continued to operate,” said Traver.
Traver then mentioned how it felt after Gutner's death. Though he wanted to keep the shop up and running, he knew he did not have the means to do so. But that's when Morgan contacted him, saying that he and a few others including Paul Rudd would help save the store from shutting down forever.
Traver said Burton told him, “Whatever you do, don’t close the shop — hang in there.” They bought the store and Traver became a partner. “There was triumph out of tragedy,” said Traver. “I had lost my friend. But these really great people came forward and helped me and saved the local candy store and now I have this incredible opportunity to make this place as successful as I can, which is awesome. It’s great.”
“When Hilarie and I came to the area and started getting coffee at Samuel’s, Ira made it clear that we were home. We just got each other. Saving Samuel’s is one of the coolest things we have done,” said Jeffery Morgan, per the store's website. For Hilarie Burton, it's also about helping the people in the community. “Samuel’s strives to be the trophy case for all the talented people we have in our community,” she said.
As for Rudd, he's always looking at the brighter side of life. “The best thing about being an owner of a candy shop is getting my favorite holiday candy in June,” he joked. It's the same with his wife, Julie. “The magic of Samuel’s, especially during the holidays, makes me feel like a little girl again”
It really is such a "sweet" story, isn't it?
Cover Image Source: Instagram | Samuels Sweet Shop