If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, you should! As a franchise, there are a variety of locations from which to choose. For those of us in the Orange County area, there is one in Long Beach and one in Laguna Niguel. By definition of a franchise, they should carry almost identical stock. But it has been a couple of years since I was in the Long Beach location so for the purpose of this blog the references will be made about the Laguna Niguel location.
When I met with Victoria, the wife in the husband and wife ownership team, she told me that the first time they stepped into a Powell’s Sweet Shoppe they were there for over three hours. (It’s a big candy store but, it’s not Nordstrom’s – they were entranced!) And when they left that store, they knew that they were going to open their own. I love stories that involve a magical moment of epiphany! So she left her 10+ years at big corporate job and is living the dream! And I mean it.
This is what I love about her vision – while the concept is a step back to a simpler time store, the activity within the store is evolving. For instance, it is possible to throw a birthday party within the store. They provide a welcoming craft that kids can work on as they arrive, some games, (don’t want to share her secrets, but they are really cute!) party favors that the kids collect from the store throughout the party, and some other activities. But Victoria knows that if the parties are going to continue, she is going to have to have a varied repertoire from which to pull so that they are not all cookie cutter events. Meaning if Mary Jane has her party there and her best friend Susie loves it so much she wants her party there, Susie’s party will have the same feel but will include different activities. SMART!
The merchandise within the store will cover just about everyone on your list. There are candies that you haven’t seen in thirty years, meaning your kids have never seen them. Many treats have themed wrappers for both adults and kids. Love the gum cigarettes. The 3 foot long licorice. The wax mustaches. The mints in clever tins. The candy bars I didn’t even know they still made. There are also beautifully crafted chocolates. Incredible gelato that is delivered once a month in a special freezer truck and when it is, all hands are on deck getting it put away. There are retro toys, cool lunch boxes, funky hats, colorful umbrellas – the stock is literally hanging from the ceiling. And once you are in there, you can see how someone might spend 3 hours browsing cause you get the feeling that you just can’t see all of it in one trip.
My pick of the day. The bacon candy canes. Need I say more?
Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, 27000 Alicia Parkway, Suite E, Laguna Niguel. (949) 831-9652