A bittersweet goodbye: Greenbrier Resort’s candymaker set to retire after 40 years

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:47 PM EDT
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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WVVA) - They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Cheryl Gum has been working at The Greenbrier Resort for the last 40 years, and she says her story is written in chocolate.

Gum began working in the resort’s main kitchen in the West Virginia Wing in 1983. Two years later, she started as a candymaker in the candy shop. She’s made a lot of memories in that little kitchen. Her favorite, she says, happened in 1989 when she made 10,000 chocolate truffles for President George H.W. Bush.

“I love the hotel,” she shared. “I mean, I’ve been here since I was 25 years old, so it’s been a long time.”

If you’ve ever passed by The Candy Maker on the bottom floor of the resort or stopped by to eye the delicious-looking candies, you’ve spotted Gum’s work.

And as sure as you’re locked into those chocolate candies, she’s looking back at you, smiling.

“It’s a thrill to see people being happy about the chocolate, and, of course, chocolate makes everybody happy anyway,” she laughed.

From taking ingredients and turning them into delicious truffles to perfecting recipes, Gum says she spent more of the last four decades having fun than working, but at the end of the month, she will hang up her Greenbrier apron for the last time.

“I never dreamed that I would be making candy as long as I have,” she told WVVA. “...You just don’t know what your future is really. You really don’t.”

It’s no secret that Gum has a passion for chocolate, and, of course, she will miss the candy shop; but she says it’s the people and the resort that she will miss the most.

“I’ve seen whole families...grow up here in those windows. It seems like when they come, they bring a baby with them, and then the next thing you know, they’re going to school...the next thing you know, they’re going to college.

Gum may be putting her chocolate-making days behind her, but a piece of herself will always be at America’s Resort. She will officially retire from her position on June 28.

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