Jeffrey Dean Morgan from The Walking Dead is serving sweets in New York

Samuel's Sweet Shop store front-Photo Credit: Jennifer Renson
Samuel's Sweet Shop store front-Photo Credit: Jennifer Renson /

When the notorious Negan from The Walking Dead played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan isn’t taking swings at his enemies he’s making a difference for one New York community.

Negan may be many things on AMC’s The Walking Dead but the man behind the leather jacket is truly the side worth talking about. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, alongside his wife Hilarie Burton and fellow actor and friend Paul Rudd, stepped in to save a candy store upon the tragic death of the owner Ira Gutner.

Mr. Gutner founded Samuel’s of Rhinebeck in 1994 in Rhinebeck, New York. Naming “his shop after his late Uncle Sam” Ira wanted to add something new to the area he loved.

The result is the tiny yet very impressionable candy store that serves coffee over a variety of candy. Over the years the candy store has won several awards and recognition including winning this year’s Best Dessert at the Taste of Rhinebeck hospital fundraiser.

Now known as Samuel’s Sweet Shop, the unique store “takes pride in customer service and supports community efforts,” states store manager and partner John Traver. “We want people to leave happy.”

Samuel's Sweet Shop - Photo Credit: Jennifer Renson
Samuel’s Sweet Shop – Photo Credit: Jennifer Renson /

Samuel’s Sweet Shop stands out from other candy stores because of it’s, “level of community and the assortment of hard to find nostalgic candies.” Mr. Traver’s had worked with Mr. Gutner at the store for years building a great repertoire.

This made Mr. Gutner’s passing in 2014 from a heart attack all the more painful. After his death, the fate of the candy store remained uncertain until Jeffrey, Hilarie, and Paul came forward and bought it.

Since then the candy store has undergone several changes as Mr. Traver’s explains, to “enhance the experience.” The vibrant blue and red logo hanging outside the storefront is a guaranteed eye-catcher in the busy street of delicious restaurants, unique stores in a quaint part of upstate New York.

Stepping into the narrow and colorful space, customers are greeted with a wall full of treats from homemade chocolate to local honey, gummies and even Pez dispensers while being surrounded by friendly employees and the smell of the sweet goodness and robust coffee.

Though summer, autumn and the holiday season seem to be the busiest times of the year, that doesn’t stop customers from pouring in, including fans of The Walking Dead.

Although Mr. Morgan takes center stage on The Walking Dead, Samuel’s Sweet Shop does not sell a lot of Walking Dead themed items.

Mr. Traver’s explained how every now and again they will sell zombie gummies with missing body parts and cookies with Jeffrey’s face on it. Sounds like most of the Walking Dead themed items come and go fairly quickly.

The candy store has had its fair share of fans from the show come by including one from Delaware who arrived to order a carrot cake on Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s birthday. She conversed with Mr. Traver about her interest in Mr. Morgan while they shared a piece of the delicious cake.

The sweet shop was the location of an actual proposal and Hilarie Burton used it to read a story to children. When asked if John was a fan of The Walking Dead he admitted he does not watch the show, however, has seen episodes staring Jeffrey.

The first time he saw Jeffrey as Negan he was “blown away”.

If you are looking to visit the candy store soon why not try Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s favorite: chocolate covered Swedish fish?

Mr. Traver’s items of choice include gourmet peanut butter and hot and spicy honey.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hilarie Burton, Paul Rudd - Samuel's Sweet Shop - Photo Credit: Jennifer Renson
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hilarie Burton, Paul Rudd – Samuel’s Sweet Shop – Photo Credit: Jennifer Renson /

Looking to take a unique souvenir home? How about a cookie with Jeffrey, Hilarie or Paul’s face on it?

The candy store does sell mugs and clothing with the logo. To stay up to date follow Samuel’s Sweet Shop on social media:

Main website:




Though Jeffrey and Paul’s decision to save the candy store and become partial owners with Mr. Traver was unexpected, John stated with sincerity, “We all add something to this.”

Whether visitors are looking for something unique and sweet or simply want to indulge in the treasures of historic Rhinebeck, Samuel’s Sweet Shop will deliver. Be alert for Jeffrey, Hilarie, and Paul might be in the area.

Next: Top 100 moments from 100 episodes of The Walking Dead

Remember to be respectful and enjoy! Batter up!

Have you visited Samuel’s Sweet Shop? If so what was your experience like?

Leave your comments below I’d love to read them!