Food & WinePersonalities

Sweet Returns

“My kids said, ‘You have to get back in the game, Mom,’” Susi Tinsley relates of her return to candy retail in the heart of Silicon Valley. Her original Sugar Shack on Santa Cruz Avenue opened just over 12 years ago and had a robust seven-year run. “Simultaneously, Sugar Shack’s event side of the business grew too, notes Tinsley, who creates mouth-watering candy bars for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, birthdays, and corporate events. “When I closed the retail shop, Sugar Shack events kept going and growing,” she says.

A few months ago Tinsley noticed the “For Lease” sign in a retail space on the backside of Santa Cruz Avenue, facing the Draeger’s Grocery Store parking lot. After inquires about the storefront—Tinsley started to have “visions of sugar plums dancing in my head again,” she smiles. “My family urged me to plunge back into retail. One of Tinsley’s first calls was to interior designer Melissa Badger of Dreams & Details (Badger helped create the first Sugar Shack, too). Together, they quickly reimagined the elements that made the original store so charming, from bubble gum pink walls to the trademark chocolate candy logo. The new space features giant dancing lolli pops in the window, but what entrances customers young and old alike are the shelves brimming with jars of rainbow colored candies. “It’s like a dream,” noted one wide-eyed young patron recently.

Judging from the lines of kids and their parents on a sunny afternoon just before Halloween, this sweet indulgence is a deliciously welcome one.


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