I admit that I am a true blue snob when it comes to my sweet tooth. For example, I have been telling the Cute Gardener for the past two years that I love candy but he’s yet to see me eat anything other than dark chocolate Valrhona baking squares from the upscale foodie warehouse sales we frequent twice a year, which basically provide the mainstays for dessert in our household. I have no desire to purchase waxy, tasteless candy bars or jelly beans at the grocery store but I am always on the look out for good quality marzipan, caramels, honeycomb and watermelon or grapefruit slice sweet and sour gummies. In Los Angeles, I have only found good varieties of this on a whim at Bottega Louie. I simply can’t find good candy so I never buy it even though I am a self-admitted sugar addict. Maybe this rarity of quality is a good thing.
All of that went out the window when I was invited to a party at Sugarfina in Beverly Hills, which touts itself as a candy store for adults. At the front door we were greeted by a smiling woman holding a tray of black cherry centered balls and fruit loop reminiscent crunchies and told that the back room had Champagne and whiskey waiting for us. I think I, along with all the other ladies in the room, released a communal swoon.
But seriously, as far as candy stores go, this one has the chops to back up its overwhelmingly Tiffany-blue, girlie bling on-site seduction. The store’s periphery is lined with shelves carrying multiple varieties of all things sugar that you can buy on average for $7 or $14 bucks a pop in a see-through, toy-like box. A high price to pay for dollops of sweet stuff? Not when it’s good and it was. There were so many things to choose from but the immediate objects of my affection were tiny lemon-infused, white chocolate covered marzipan ovals called Lemon Cakes; crystal sugar-coated brown gum drops that tasted exactly like apple pie and gummies that swirled flavors of Bourbon and Coke onto the tongue. I was also itching to try the various forms of licorice from fruity to sweet to salty as well as the many forms of small chewy balls covered in flavored chocolate like green tea and cinnamon.
The owner Rosie O’Neill explained that the inspiration for the store came on her third date with her co-owner and husband while they were watching Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They wanted to create a candy store for adults.
On that note the CG and I went home, broke out the honey whiskey, Bourbon and LEGOs and enjoyed an R-rated evening with Sugarfina’s candy while creating our own individual versions of Pasadena’s Gamble House.