The Actors Who Bought Their Favorite Candy Store To Keep It From Shutting Down

In 1994, Ira Gutner left a successful career in New York City’s Garment District to move upstate and open a boutique candy and coffee shop. Samuel’s of Rhinebeck was named after his late Uncle Sam, who introduced Ira to penny candy when he was a child. On April 4, 2014, Ira suffered a massive heart attack and died at the age of 57. He left behind many family members and friends, as well as his beloved candy shop. The community’s collective heart was broken. Just when it seemed as though all was lost and the candy shop would be shuttered forever, two celebrities stepped up to the plate. Actors Jeffrey Dean Morgan (above left) and Paul Rudd (above right) called the candy store their favorite place to indulge their love of decadent sweets. So, when they heard the shop was to close, they decided to pool their money and buy it. They decided to keep longtime manager John Traver on the payroll, since their schedules wouldn’t allow them to actually run the shop. Although they changed the name of the shop to Samuel’s Sweet Shop, little else is different…….with the exception of customers being served coffee by actor Paul Rudd now and then. "When the idea came that maybe we should try to save it and keep it going, it wasn’t so much about the candy, it was about, this is a meeting place in the community and a place that brings joy to the community and kids love to come and we just really want to keep that going,” said Rudd. The store will celebrate its 28th anniversary this year.