Wunderland Candy & Craft Factory in Grayton Beach is Fun for All
August 7, 2012 by Joyce Owen
How many times have parents wondered what to do with the children on a rainy afternoon at the beach? Or thought they had too much sun and needed a fun day off the beach?
Trent Grinkmeyer says the lack of things for children to do in SoWal was evident when his daughter attended a birthday party that included a trip to Panama City Beach to go bowling. Shouldn’t there be something closer, Trent thought. And shouldn’t it be a kid-oriented experience?
Trent and his wife, Ginger Leigh, hope to provide some answers with the opening of Wunderland Candy and Craft Factory in Grayton Beach. The shop provides hands on creative activities for children in a workshop setting.
While Trent’s career veered into the wealth management field, he studied graphic design and painting in college, and has a passion for developing kids’ imagination.
The idea to open a shop with arts and crafts was the natural progression for Trent and Ginger Lee, who is a painter, but they added a large display of candy to appeal to the kid in everyone.
Trent considered many things before deciding to open the store, but the key was finding the right manager.
Last December, long time family friend, Mandie Miller, was visiting the beach and as the Grinkmeyer’s talked about their plans for the shop, she became intrigued. Two weeks later she texted Trent and learned he was still considering the project. He had discovered the perfect location in Uptown Grayton, conveniently near Ginger Leigh’s studio and retail space, The Workshop.
Mandie soon moved here to run Wunderland. With a background in education, she fits in with the idea to provide entertaining workshops with an educational component.
Even though parents frequently announce their child is not creative, Mandie says the arts and crafts workshops have been a huge success. When they return, many of those doubting adults declare the work of art will be proudly displayed at home. Parents often purchase additional craft kits to work on at home.
She believes the substantial arts and crafts they offer tap a different set of skills and emphasizes there’s no right or wrong way to complete each project. There are morning and afternoon art classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Tie Dye Mike is available from 9 a.m. to noon. for do-it-yourself tie dye T-shirt classes.
Another exciting opportunity has been to offer art and craft workshops for after school programs. With many schools losing art teachers, it’s a chance to bring back an important aspect of what used to be a regular occurrence in schools, Trent says.
They have already held two birthday parties at the store and there have been requests for Mommie and Me sessions for toddlers and teen activities. Planning for much-requested adult painting classes at The Workshop will coordinate with evening classes for kids at Wunderland.
Wunderland Candy and Craft Factory is in the Uptown Grayton Shopping Center. For workshop information and reservations, call 231-5555.