Donells Candies in Casper is celebrating its 55th anniversary on St. Patrick's Day. Mike Stepp, company president and second of three generations working at the family owned store, said his parents owned a candy business in Colorado Springs from 1951 to 1955, and then moved to Casper.

A good place to settle down:

"They took their capital from that and moved to Casper. It was in an oil boom at that time, imagine that, and had a couple of relatives that lived here and they decided it looked like a good place to settle down, opened at the time at the Hilltop Shopping Center."

So where does the name Donells come from?

Combined first names:

"And the name came from my parents' first names, Don and Ellema, Ellema with an E, so they formed the name Donells. It's continued on; they opened just a little shop, and 1995 we moved downtown. They were doing remodeling at Hilltop and seemed like a good time to move."

There's also a reason the anniversary is on St. Patrick's Day.

Well chosen opening day:

"My mom was part Irish, and they were trying to get open in time for the Easter season. Of course the holiday seasons are very big for candy makers, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, that's our big profit centers, basically in that order. My mother was part Irish and so she picked St. Patrick's Day."

Mr. Stepp plans to celebrate with their customers.

Anniversary celebration:

"Well we're going to have several specials on sale and free samples for everybody, and self-guided tours if people want to come through the store and see where me make the candy and so forth, and then through the weekend we'll have sales."

Donells Candies is located in downtown Casper in the Atrium Plaza on the corner of Wolcott and Second Street.

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