Georgie Lou's Retro Candy

Georgenne, age 4
Little Georgenne
Age 4
Rehobeth Beach, MD
Lucille, age 9
Lucille, Age 9
Who is Georgie Lou?

You may be wondering who exactly Georgie Lou is?  Well, technically, she doesn't exist--there is no one person named Georgie Lou.  The name is derived from our mothers' names--Georgenne and Lucille.  When we were searching for a meaningful, retro-sounding name, I was inspired to dice and splice our mother's names' together . . . and Georgie Lou was born. 

"Georgie" is my mom, Georgenne Fitzpatrick Loy.  Named after her father, she was born in and has lived most of her life in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  She is a true baby boomer--a child of the 1950s and 1960s, and she and my pop, Len, have been wonderful resources while choosing candy and toys for the store.  If they say they ate it or had one just like it, you can bet I've put it in the store.  Our oldest son is also named George, so there's a lot of meaning for me in this name.  You can sometimes catch my parents at the store, as they drop by see which grandkid is working.

"Lou" comes from my husband's late mother, Lucille Palmer Gilbert.  She was born in Texas and lived her adult life in Orlando, Florida.  She was a child of the 1930s and 1940s, and we've tried to stay true to the candy and toys of those eras as well.  We were unfortunate to lose her in early 2008, as well as my husband's sister, Cynthia Lou, later that year. In the last conversation she had with him, Cynthia told Harlon not to wait to experience what he wanted out of life.  Their losses, especially Cynthia's, are the reason why my husband backed my crazy idea to open a candy store. 


So, What's Our Story?

Fam with ChewbaccaWe are the Gilberts (well the boys are the Gilberts and I'm a Patterson Gilbert), Harlon, Georgie, Tommy, Jack, and Stephanie.  We're just a regular family of way too many boys who love Americana and want to share a small slice of it with you.  The picture at left was taken around the time we decided to open our store in the summer of 2009.

I, meaning Stephanie, hold an M.A. in American Studies and have taught popular culture and American women's history classes at Dickinson College.  Before that, I was the curator at the Historical Society of Dauphin County and have taught high school Social Studies and English.  My family has been in Carlisle for more than six generations.  I had wanted to open a retro candy store for years, and after our third son was born with developmental differences, it became clear that both of us working for other people wasn't sustainable.  Our son's therapies and doctors' appointments were difficult to work regular jobs around, and I convinced my husband to take a shot at owning our own business--and Georgie Lou's was under way.

Harlon was a Home Delivery Manager for the Patriot News in Harrisburg for ten years before taking time off to care for our youngest son, Jack.  He and I met while finishing our English B.A.s at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, in 1993.  Harlon was born and raised in Orlando but most of his people are from Texas.  Yee-HAW!

Georgie, Tommy, and Jack are our three boys, ages 19, 17, and 9.  Georgie is in his second year at Dickinson College, and Tommy attends Carlisle High School.  Both of my older boys have been a part of our store--tasting, stocking, cashiering, and more--since they were 11 and 9.  Jack attended pre-school at Georgie Lou's, so to speak, and now attends Life Skills classes at Big Spring schools.  He isn't talking yet and has muscle tone issues--he's not quite like your ordinary kid.  But he's very social.  If he gets loose, he might walk up to you with an iPad and look up inquisitively.  He's a people person for sure and loves if you talk to him!  Don't be alarmed if he gets too close or pats your leg or face because that's just his way of saying "hello".

If you want a glimpse into the inspiration for and philosophy of our store, take a look at this student-made video created in 2015 as a Carlisle High School project: