People of the Palouse: Candy store owner reflects on business in Pullman

Pam Dabolt never expected to make sweets in the Palouse; shop draws customers with respect


Pam Dabolt holds a tray of candy Friday afternoon in Palouse Country Candy. Dabolt was born and raised in Southern California, but made her way to the Palouse through a position at WSU and UI.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

Pam Dabolt is the owner and founder of Palouse Country Candy in downtown Pullman. Inspired by an older shop that used to be in Moscow, she decided to move to Pullman to open the candy store.

“There was a big lack of something like this in the area, so I started to formulate a business plan … so here I am,” Dabolt said.

Born and raised in Southern California, Dabolt did not come from a background of candy-making.

She and her husband moved to the area when she became the Fisher Scientific Representative for the University of Idaho and Washington State University. There she would begin to learn about the Palouse region.

“Knowing this area and knowing the student base, it seemed like the best place to open a business of this sort,” Dabolt said.

Instead of candy, Dabolt came from an experience with sales, teaching her how to market the products to different customers. Dabolt has managed the business on her own since the beginning.

“You just don’t have the kind of momentum to hire employees, it just costs too much money until you can be making the money for yourself,” Dabolt said.

She is not completely alone, though. Her son helps to deliver products from Spokane so Dabolt can avoid shipping, and her daughter ran the store after Dabolt fell and broke her wrist around February.

“They think it is kind of cool, having mom own a candy store,” Dabolt said.

Dabolt has tried to gather more customers for her store through advertisements at the beginning of the year and by adding a new gelato section to her store to draw in customers.

“You have to ask them what they like because everyone is different,” Dabolt said. “I never want anyone here to feel pushed.”

Beyond offering a smiling face, Dabolt gives the Pullman community and the WSU campus a chance to satisfy their sweet tooth.

“If they are treated nicely and they are treated with respect that is what they remember,” Dabolt said.