How Paul Rudd And Jeffrey Dean Morgan Saved A Struggling Candy Shop

Samuel's Sweet Shop packaged candies
Samuel's Sweet Shop packaged candies - samuelssweetshop / Instagram

In certain circumstances, the entertainment sphere comes into contact with the wide world of candy (aside from everyone having a go-to candy at the movie theater). E.T., everyone's favorite cinematic extraterrestrial, eats Reese's Pieces because Universal partnered with Hershey Foods for product placement. However, this sweet phenomenon isn't always so corporate. This crossover between entertainment and candy is best exemplified by the success of Samuel's Sweet Shop.

Around 10 years ago, two actors came together to save Samuel's Sweet Shop: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, best known for portraying the bat-wielding bad guy Negan in "The Walking Dead," and Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man in the Avengers film franchise. Samuel's Sweet Shop has been a staple of the Rhinebeck, New York community since it opened its doors almost 30 years ago. Morgan and Rudd have owned the shop for the past decade, but it nearly shut down after owner Ira Gutner died in 2014.

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Saving Samuel's Sweet Shop

Jeffrey Dean Morgan with bat at Samuel's
Jeffrey Dean Morgan with bat at Samuel's - Samuel's Sweet Shop Facebook

If you visit any of America's best old-school candy shops, you likely get a sense of the setup at Samuel's Sweet Shop. Inside the surprisingly small store, glass cases house all manner of treats — candy, obviously, but Samuel's also sells baked desserts and steaming cups of coffee.

Samuel's Sweet Shop lives in Rhinebeck, New York. Paul Rudd and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were frequent patrons of the establishment before Ira Gutner's death. After his passing, Rudd's wife, Julie Rudd, took it upon herself to assuage any fears the remaining staff had about the shop's future. A slew of Samuel's supporters, many of whom are in the entertainment industry, came together and bought the store. For Rudd, or at least one of the characters he portrays, owning a sweet shop isn't entirely unfamiliar. In the Avengers universe, Rudd's character, Ant-Man, works at Baskin-Robbins. Still, none of the candy store's celebrity co-sponsors actually knew how to run the business, so employee John Traver, who first started at Samuel's as a 15-year-old, was made a part owner. He now oversees the store's day-to-day operations.

Samuel's Sweet Success

Paul Rudd sipping espresso
Paul Rudd sipping espresso - paulrudd_ Instagram

When owner and founder Ira Gutner passed away, the store was just a month shy of the 20th anniversary of its founding. In 2024, Samuel's will turn 30. Given the period of uncertainty that the shop went through following Gutner's passing, it must be gratifying to still churn out candy for voracious visitors. It isn't easy to imagine that the candy store would still survive without the generosity of Paul Rudd and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, along with the other members of the partnership that now owns Samuel's.

Actor Hilarie Burton, Morgan's wife, feels that buying Samuel's went along with her overall philosophy of preservation. In her opinion, New York's Hudson Valley is seemingly trapped in time, and stores like Samuel's contribute to its timeless aesthetic. The people who partnered to save Samuel's are inarguably wealthy, but keeping the doors of Samuel's Sweet Shop open is a charitable decision, and it is nice to see celebrities coming together for altruistic community causes.

Samuel's Sweet Shop still serves up delicious desserts and piping hot cups of coffee every day, and John Traver, now a part owner, still manages the store after over two decades. Rudd recently appeared as Ant-Man in a Heineken 0.0 Super Bowl ad. However, keeping the doors of Samuel's Sweet Shop open may be his most heroic endeavor to date.

Read the original article on Daily Meal