Remember that childhood dream of the candy shop—the one that goes to the Wonka extreme with chocolate rivers, lickable wallpaper, and candy verily dripping from the ceiling? Well, while the idea of sugar-fueled madness might, at first, seem brilliant, there’s something to be said for a little sweet restraint.
Upon stepping into Sugar Sugar, a white-washed postage stamp of a space in south Minneapolis, the eye floats through the spare space to the shelves holding neatly arranged jars filled with colorful spheres, or to the curiously assembled knickknacks, such as the chalkware Indian head sporting a lollipop headdress. No accessory is superfluous, and thanks in part to her former life at Paper Source, owner Joni Wheeler knows how to tempt the eye.
In an effort to invite revelers to consider the subtle magic of sweets, Wheeler spends hours researching and sourcing the goodies that line her shelves. Her cordials entice with flavors such as margarita and pomegranate martini; the chocolate bars boast awards for packaging and cocoa innovation; and her licorice has a cultish following. But this is not to say that everything must be taken so seriously; you are encouraged to indulge your inner giggle with a Charleston Chew or a box of Razzles. It is candy, after all—kids come to spend their whole allowance on sour gummy worms.
From the most artisanal to the nostalgic, all that matters is that there is some kind of story, some pull for the candy buyer. “There are certain things that I simply cannot take off the shelf,” Wheeler acknowledges, motioning to the malted milk balls. Already she’s planting the candy dreams that could fuel her for years of sweet success. 3803 Grand Ave. S., Mpls., 612-823-0261, sugar-sugarcandy.com