Jamestown 8th grader uses TikTok to promote his Main Street candy store

It's not often we hear stories of businesses opening during a pandemic, especially when the business owner is barely a teenager.

At age 13, Max Elhard owns and operates the Candy Man Candy store in downtown Jamestown.

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — On a frosty morning Tuesday, Feb. 2, in the heart of downtown Jamestown, the day is just starting at the Candy Man Candy store.

Store owner Max Elhard takes a school break so the 13-year-old can catch up on pricing and inventory at his candy store.

"These are the e-fruity, sour, mini-burgers," Elhard said showing off some of his wares. "(They're) gummies with sour coating on the outside."

Max is just an eighth-grader, but he has turned a quiet, winter main street into a sweet sensation. His store imports crazy treats from all over the world, including candies from countries like Japan and Mexico.


"These are the popular Japanese candy, Pocky, and this is our Mexican stuff, sour and spicy," Elhard said.

Max not only brought candy from around the world to his Jamestown store, but he also has retro treats like Chico Sticks, candy cigarettes, and Bubble Gum Cigars.

Max now has brought social media to help spread the word of his store. His TikTok videos about his CandyMan store have been a hit.

"One of my videos got 180,000 views, so that helped me a lot and we sold out of everything on my website," Elhard said.

His parents have known about their son's entrepreneurial spirit for awhile.

"Since he was six, he had lemonade stands, cotton candy, making slime in our basement to sell," said his mother Heather Elhard. "He is not one to sit and play video games, he likes inventing things and making money."

They couldn't be more thrilled to see Max's sweet success.


"He comes down here and works, goes to hockey practice, confirmation and hockey games on weekends," said Max's father, Chad Elhard. "He is 13, and you don't see that much anymore."

While homemade cotton candy seems like a big enough attraction for any candy store, what if it was dill pickle flavored? According to Max, it's pretty good.

"It makes me so proud, brings a tear to my eye, I am excited for his life," Chad Elhard said.

With his Tik-Tok videos, Max gets online business from around the world. Those interested in learning more about Candy Man Candy can visit the company's website . The store also has Instagram and Facebook pages.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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