BRUNSWICK — “It’s nice to have a candy store back in town.”
That’s what one of her first customers recently told Julie Marshall, owner of Street Sweets, a new candy and gift store at 56 Maine St.
Street Sweets, which opened about four weeks ago, specializes in old-fashioned and classic candies, peddling confections that date back as far as the 1930s. The store is open Thursday-Sunday, and hours vary.
The store also hopes to eventually stock the state’s largest selection of Jelly Belly jelly beans, Marshall said last week.
Marshall, a bookkeeper who co-owns the store with business partner Paul Giggey, said Feb. 3 that the dream of starting her own a business existed long before the idea for a candy store.
But what kind of business?
After weighing ideas, a trip to Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe in Camden convinced Marshall that Brunswick could use a similar place, thanks to its appeal to kids and nostalgic adults alike.
“It just looks like it should be a candy store,” Marshall said of the brick-walled space, which used to be Glazed pottery cafe.
Though Marshall said she doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, the nostalgic aspect of the business suited her and Giggey.
“We have old souls,” she said.
Just past the entryway, the stock moves chronologically through time.
Jars of Mary Janes, Mallo Cups and Candy Buttons line a shelf for the 1930s; the next decade gives way to boxes of Necco Wafers and Bulls-Eye caramel candy.
“A walk down memory lane, as we call it,” Marshall said.
Noticeably absent are the treats of today. Marshall said she doesn’t sell what’s popular in the checkout lines of grocery store, preferring to create her own niche.
Stocking her shelves begins with online research, she said, and finding out which candies were popular when. Now and then, she comes across something that’s no longer in production, but she found a distributor that can acquire most of what she’s looking for.
The exception to the rule, of course, is the store’s vast selection of Jelly Belly jelly beans, housed in bright, modern dispensers along one wall.
Marshall said she doesn’t know exactly how many flavors the store has to stock to have the most in Maine, but, so far, customers can choose from 72, including exotics such as Tabasco and beer.
Packaged candies are priced separately, but bulk candy is uniformly priced at $2 per quarter pound “so you can just mix and match throughout the store,” Marshall said.
In addition to candy, Marshall has antiques for sale, a part of the business that she expects to grow over time. The store might also serve coffee in the future.
“There are spaces to fill in,” Marshall said.
Sweet Street, a nostalgic candy and gift shop, is now open for business at 56 Maine St. in Brunswick.