Just in time for the holiday shopping season comes Sugar Sugar (3803 Grand Av. S., Mpls., www.sugar-sugarcandy.com), which celebrates sweet teeth of all stripes. Owner Joni Wheeler offers a small but tempting array of long-forgotten goodies: Good News and Oh Henry! bars, Mallo Cups, French Chew taffy and Black Jack, Fruit Stripe and Clark's Teaberry chewing gum. Big glass jars are filled with a variety of alluring edibles, including a large licorice assortment.
"I'm told that Minnesotans eat more licorice per capita than any other state, and my sales support that," said Wheeler. There are also macaroons (made by Janan Juliff, aka the Cake Diva, a Minneapolis specialty baker), marshmallows (from Susan Dietrich of Very Prairie in Minneapolis), fantastic chocolate truffles and cocoa from Christopher Elbow in Kansas City, cabernet-flavored suckers ("champagne is coming," said Wheeler), even chocolate perfume.
"There's a lot you can sell under the imprimatur of candy," said Wheeler with a laugh.
One reason Wheeler's shop looks so good: She spent a dozen years working for image-conscious Paper Source, and she's peppered the place with her cool collection of candy memorabilia. Aside from a vintage See's Candy poster, another lovely touch is the change-filled jar next to the cash register.
"That's the tax fund," said Wheeler, explaining that her burgeoning after-school crowd hasn't quite figured out that buying a dollar's worth of candy actually costs $1.08, which is why she encourages her grown-up customers to toss a little change into the "fund" and cover the 8-cent difference. Sweet, right?