By Natalie Scott
CALAIS, ME- This week I got the opportunity to visit Sweeties Downeast, a local candy store in downtown Calais. Even though this store opened in December of 2015, and I drove by it almost every day, I had never had a reason to go inside. I had no idea what I was walking into, but i’m glad I decided to shop locally. It was like entering Willy Wonka’s real life chocolate factory. With every color of every candy you could ever imagine, I found it worth my while.
Shelves filled with candy cascaded the four walls around me. Not one inch of this shop was left empty. The owner of the shop, Lisa Stevens, greeted me with a smile. She proceeded to tell me about the history behind her store. She had already had a candy shop in Eastport, but she wanted to expand by adding another location. Her shop has old school candy like, Bit-O-Honey and candy cigarettes, and newer candy that children love like, Pucker Powder, which she explained to me as, “a pixy stick on steroids”. Stevens wanted to make sure she had something for everyone who entered Sweeties Downeast.
“Kids can come in and take a bag and pick a little of this, a little of that, and mix and match their own special candies,” says Stevens. For $10.99 you can fill up a bag with a pound of any candy you desire. She also offers popcorn, gelato, and fudge that she hand-makes herself. “We’re proud of our fudge, made right in the store. Rich and creamy, we constantly experiment with flavorful combinations,” says Stevens. I really enjoyed the variety that she offers to the public. I filled-up a bag myself that included; gummy bears, caramels, chocolates, jelly beans, and a few other goodies. She takes the bag and weighs it right there at the counter to determine the price.
To add to Stevens’ business, she now offers birthday parties. For around $120.00 you can have your special day at a candy store. Kids will get the chance to play bingo with actual candy from the store with eleven of their closest friends. Kids will have the option to pick out whatever candy they would like to play the game with. For a twenty dollar extra fee, Stevens will also provide you with a cake.
Even though the prices were a little high, I would definitely go to this candy store again. The fact that there are so many different kinds of candy helps keep a business like this going. Even if you have a food allergy or you’re a picky eater, you can still find something you’ll love at this small shop. A lot of people who live in a small town always say to shop at locally owned businesses, but I never really thought about it until now. It was a get experience and I do believe that children would have a great time visiting this store. Now that i’ve visited the Calais location, I think I will take a ride over to Eastport and see which store I like better.