Now open: Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe in Los Altos | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Palo Alto Online |

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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Now open: Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe in Los Altos

Uploaded: Mar 11, 2016
A third-generation Los Altos family has opened a candy shop to bring a "little slice of sweetness" to the city’s downtown, said owner Darren Howze.

Howze, who lives with his wife and two children in Los Altos, left behind a yearslong career in high-tech to open Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe at 325 State St. last week. The space formerly housed Mr. English Coffee Co.

"If you would have said to me maybe two years ago … that I was going to drop out of technology and open a candy store or just go into retail in Silicon Valley, I would have said, 'no way,'" Howze said. "But lo and behold, here we are."

Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe is a "boutique-style sweet shop" that specializes in high-end chocolates as well as bulk candy, Howze said. The shop is filled with bins of gummy candies, jelly beans, lollipops, packaged candies, chocolates, grab-and-go snacks and the like, plus a refrigerator stocked with bottled vintaged and specialty sodas.

"We live here in Los Altos and we feel like downtown Los Altos needed a little slice of sweetness, a place for families and kids could go and get something sweet for their day," Howze said.

Howze is also eyeing the high-end gift baskets market as well as "corporate endeavors" in the future.

Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Mountain View,
on Mar 11, 2016 at 10:39 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Along with the recent Rocket Fizz franchises in the area, this opening makes me wonder if sweets shops are a new trend (like Poke bars or Acai bowls).

 +   10 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Mar 12, 2016 at 8:57 am

If it's a trend, it's cyclical. Kiki's Candy Bar opened up in downtown Palo Alto in 2003 and subsequently moved out to a location right by US-101 in 2005. Shortly thereafter it went out of business.

I would say these candy shops have a 50-50 chance of lasting three years, less if they expand rapidly.

I don't eat candy these days apart from the infrequent bite of chocolate, but they sure are fun stores to browse.

Anyhow, best of luck to these folks.

 +   7 people like this
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Mountain View,
on Mar 14, 2016 at 10:32 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

"Trend," as in a cluster of related businesses of distinctive and closely related style. I could have cited other individual candy stores too that came and went, or individual restaurants of a given genre. But the Acai-bowl and Poke-bar trends are characterized (just like this current wave of sweets shops) by both multiple competing businesses setting up in sequence, and some of the competitors consisting of multiple-site franchises.

'The Palo Alto store will be the couple's second Rocket Fizz franchise. "We opened a store in Campbell last June. It's been so successful and fun that we wanted to bring it to Palo Alto," he said.' Web Link Both the Palo Alto and Campbell Rocket-Fizz locations are over three years old already, and it will be years before data exist for any conclusions about this new fashion's longevity, or if any more shops will open to get in on the "success and fun."

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Sweet Shoppe fan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 15, 2016 at 7:51 am

The Sweet Shoppe on Los Altos Ave is already an awesome place with frozen yogurt, a barista and lunch food for parents. Profits support the schools and kids can bike there. Not sure I think another one downtown is a great thing.

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