Opening September 2021!
Paul & Renee Marinko are excited to bring Kilwins’ high-quality confections to the city they love. The Marinkos watched Fort Wayne’s commitment to revitalize the downtown area over the past decade, so they knew Kilwins would be the perfect addition to Indiana’s second largest city. The Kilwins Fort Wayne store will be a family business, with Paul & Renee’s four adult children and extended family involved in different capacities.
Renee was born and raised in Fort Wayne, with one of her first jobs in high school working at the beloved local Atz’s Ice Cream Shoppe, which closed its doors in 2014, so opening a Kilwins store comes full circle for Renee as her first job and her “retirement job” will be serving ice cream! For 10+ years, Renee has been a Title I teacher, and Paul a teacher-principal for 33 years, living and teaching in Fort Wayne since 1999.
Renee’s mother and grandmother are from St. Joseph, MI, where Paul & Renee were first introduced to Kilwins. Their family took annual trips to Silver Beach and regularly visited the St. Joseph Kilwins store, where they fell in love with the Kilwins Brand. In June of 2017, they took a vacation to northern Michigan and happened upon the largest Kilwins store they had ever seen while on a bike ride along Little Traverse Bay, which happened to be Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen, in Petoskey, MI, where all the Chocolates are made! While visiting the store and taking the kitchen tour, they inquired about opening their very own Kilwins store in Fort Wayne.
The Marinkos are members of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., an impactful organization which supports local businesses, attracts new businesses, and improves the community’s quality of space for both residents and visitors alike. Teaching at St. Paul’s Lutheran School downtown was foundational to their involvement with the Fort Wayne community, participating in community events, supporting local missions, and caring for their downtown neighbors. They look forward to continuing to support their local community.
Like all Kilwins stores, Kilwins Fort Wayne will feature an open kitchen where customers can view products being freshly made. The Marinkos invite residents and tourists to visit the store (soon!) to try some of their favorite treats, like made-in-store Chocolate Fudge, Sea-Salt Caramels, Grand Peppermint Squares, “The Perfect” Caramel Apples, Toasted Coconut Ice Cream in a freshly made Waffle Cone, or dozens of other choices, and they hope that customers will return throughout the year to treat family & friends to the Kilwins experience. “We can’t wait to share the magical taste and vacation experience of Kilwins with our friends and neighbors,” says Paul Marinko, “so that they can begin making memories at their Fort Wayne Kilwins!”
Kilwins Heritage Chocolate assortments are made by Kilwins using Fair Trade, Kosher Chocolate and proprietary recipes. The store features an open kitchen where customers can view products being made fresh and offers a full assortment of Kilwins Heritage Chocolates, Gourmet Cake & Ice Cream, 24 flavors of Original Recipe Ice Cream, and many other treats.