Where Locals Go

Hey Sugar Candy Shop

Review by Frank Geslani | Photos by Lorraine Haan-Stewart

With the opening of Hey Sugar Candy Shop in Roanoke, sugar regains its rightful place on our romanticized mantle of childhood. Sweets are once again a treat, not a vice. You may have already been charmed by Hey Sugarテ「冱 iconic Airstream trailer at seasonal festive. Now itテ「冱 perfectly at home in a lovingly re-imagined 1880s cottage on Oak Street, its porch as inviting as grandma ready to greet you with a hug.

Sisters Kristin Brittan and Staci Belew actually grew up in the candy business. Their father was a candy broker (such people exist). The girls often tailed him at candy conventions (such things exist), where they were showered with the kind of goodie bags that childhood dreams are made of. Their grandmother called everyone テ「彜ugar.テ「 They capitalized on sample boxes in their garage, selling candy to neighborhood kids.

Clearly, the girls havenテ「冲 outgrown a few things. Theirs is a candy shop guided by the most poignant and compelling of emotions, nostalgia. Its palette of Technicolor yellows, pinks and blues swings closer to post-war optimism than to the chilly, mid-century, Mad Men cynicism thatテ「冱 more of-the-moment. The past is alive in old fashioned cream sodas, floats and sundaes behind the counter, retro treats like Idaho spuds and sour milk candy, coin-operated kiddie rides and shell-backed lawn chairs outside. Thereテ「冱 also a fresh and playful self-awareness hereテ「杯hink bacon wallets and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory playing in a continuous loop on the flatscreenテ「杯hat winks at modernity.

To pull it all off, though, they have to deliver the goods, and they do. Belew says their bulk candies and popcorn are sourced from the finest artisans. Syrups and flavorings for their old-fashioned soda fountain are made in-house. Chocolates are crafted by noted chocolatier, Stephen Smith, of Nib Chocolates. Ice cream, made in an ice cream machine from the 1920s, is delivered straight from Dentonテ「冱 own Beth Marieテ「冱. Itテ「冱 all the high butterfat debauchery that one expects from premium ice cream in fanciful flavors like テ「廚ampfire Sテ「冦oresテ「 and テ「弋urtle Torture.テ「 And because everyone loves bacon, Hey Sugar covers it in chocolate, to great acclaim.

Then thereテ「冱 the soda station, a kaleidoscope of liquid and glass, promising effervescent magic by the bottle. They carry artisanal fizz like Boylanテ「冱, Jones Soda Co. and cult favorites like Moxieテ「冱. Increasingly fewer places carry the encyclopedic selection of bottles that Hey Sugar has, so this is a real treat indeed.

This shop just gets it. Candy is childhood. Itテ「冱 sweet, itテ「冱 a little naughty and itテ「冱 something we long for deep into adulthood. Hey Sugarテ「冱 choice to look back at our past through candy-colored lenses shows, in this case, a strong clarity in vision.

Hey Sugar Candy Shopテつ |テつ 111 South Oak Streetテつ |テつ Roanoke 76262
(682) 831-9900テつ |テつ Find us on facebook