Patrick Flynn left behind a career in health care billing to try something new, exciting and – in this case – sweet.
Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop, a new store specializing in candy, craft sodas and retro-style signs, opened in Miromar Outlets in Estero in unit 128.
“My wife and I had been in a health care finance career for 30-something years,” Flynn said. “We really wanted to try something that was fun and really different than the hospital business.”
Some friends owned a Rocket Fizz franchise in Colorado and got the Flynns interested.
“We decided to take the plunge and get into the candy business,” Flynn said. “It’s just a fun, happy place, where sometimes hospitals are not. That was our motivation, to do something super different and super fun.”
At about 2,400 square feet, the store is about a quarter of the size larger than most other Rocket Fizz locations, Flynn said. There are almost 90 locations across the country, and more are being planned. Rocket Fizz previously had locations at Gulf Coast Town Center and on Naples Boulevard in North Naples, both of which since have closed.
Rocket Fizz in Estero is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Flynn had the added complication of undergoing a quadruple bypass heart surgery just as the store was first opening. He since has recovered enough to joke about it.
“I don’t know much about the candy business other than clearly I ate too much of it before the surgery,” Flynn said.
Countertops throughout the store are loaded with candy. Some are rarities of traditional candies like Kit Kat bars. Others are candy from previous eras, now tougher to find.
The walls are filled with replicas of vintage rock concert posters and aluminum signs with retro superheroes and rock band logos on them.
Coolers flanking the left side of the store are filled with different varieties of root beer, cream soda and fruit-flavored sodas, but there is also an eclectic mix of craft soda that makes for some great gag gifts, Flynn said.
“We’ve got some crazy tastes that are Rocket Fizz branded,” he said. “We have Dirt Soda, Grass Soda, Enchilada Soda, Ranch Dressing Soda, Pickle Soda, Birthday Cake Soda. Just about any taste you can think of, there’s potentially a soda for.”