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How Sweet*Teez It Is: Hip Candy Shop Opens on Larchmont Ave

From 3:05  pm to closing time it’s rush hour at the new candy shop Sweet Teez  on Larchmont Avenue, as the  after-school crowd comes bursting through the door attracted by dazzling displays of their favorite treats.

Candy Reports

“I love that it’s very bright and colorful,” says Chloe Spingler, 8, darting from bin to bin to mix Smarties, Tootsie Rolls and peanut butter M&Ms. “It’s just a great new store to have around.”

Sweet Teez, the new candy shop on Larchmont Avenue, where Chloe Spingler (in white) and Mia Cohen can’t wait to sample the candy bags they put together at Sweeteez.

Outside the new candy shop on Larchmont Avenue, Chloe Spingler (in white) and Mia Cohen can’t wait to sample the candy bags they put together at Sweet Teez.

Ajed Zimet, a nine-year-old Chatsworth Elementary School attendee concurs, “It’ s really classy and really nice. It has, like, everything.”  Meanwhile, in the rear of the store, fifth-grader Nicholas Brown takes on a challenge and swallows a mouthful of super-sour Toxic Waste. With puckered cheeks he rasps, “It’s not so sour at all.”

A mouthful of Toxic Waste candy powder does its magic on Nicholas Brown, 10, from Chatsworth School.

"It's not so sour. Honest. Try one," says Nicholas Brown, 10, from Chatsworth School.

Sweet Synergy

Sweet Teez is the brainchild of Larchmont residents Maria Garzona and Renata Donaghy, each a married mother of two who met and became friends thirteen years ago when their children were in nursery school.

“We always knew we wanted to go into business together,” says Ms. Donaghy, “and while we’re both creative, we have skills that complement each other. Maria brings phenomenal marketing know-how and I add a finance background.”

Ms. Donaghy, a Yonkers native, was at Merrill Lynch for six years as an assistant to investment managers and worked at Polo’s home division in corporate creative services. Ms. Garzona left Cleveland to study business and fashion retailing and merchandising at Texas Christian University, then moved to New York and worked at Xerox for 22 years in sales, training and marketing.

Home Sweet Home

“Our thought was always to start a neighborhood business,” says Ms. Donaghy. They contemplated restaurants. (“We’d create menus down to every detail,” Ms. Garzona remembers.) But over time, their ideas shifted to a candy store.

The location they chose may have been destined for candy: the adjoining storefront, now part of Carpet Fair, was once a toy and penny-candy store.

Candies Old-Fashioned and New

Their candy selection is aimed at both the nostalgic and the gourmet. A wall of gravity bins contain M&Ms, hard candies, taffies, and chocolates priced by weight: $10.80 per pound, with a 4 ounce minimum that’s usually under $3. A center station dispenses a wheel of 12 flavors of Pucker Powder — a new version of Pixie Stix. At the counter, ice cream, $3.75, is served in a made-to-order waffle cone. For easy math, every price includes tax.

For the Kid in You

Inside an armoire is “everything nostalgic,” such as Necco, $1.75, and Sifer’s Valomilk $2.25. “We’ll search out any candy a customer wants,” vows Ms. Garzona. Gourmet sweets include chocolate crunch, $13, pumpkin pretzels, $13, and Fondue au Chocolate, $20.

Murray Elementary School fourth-graders Sofia Girvin, Julia Eisberg, and Callie Zola compare sugar rushes.

Murray Elementary School fourth-graders Sofia Girvin, Julia Eisberg, and Callie Zola compare sugar selections.

Confectious Design

The store’s design – upbeat and brightly colored –  began with the taffy-ish Italian lighting that Ms. Garzona spotted in a Cleveland art gallery. “Everything came from that.”

Next, the duo worked  with a brand identity designer to develop theme and vision that combine ““new and retro” in a mix of blue, lime and orange. A jazzy “candy” circle logo in the window blends with the old-world, original pressed tin ceiling.

All the preparation is long-sighted: the owners have plans to open more Sweet Teez in Connecticut and the Midwest.

Pulling in the Town

“We want to support our community,” says Ms. Donaghy. Working with Larchmont businesses, Sweet Teez features lotion and perfume blended by Szent & Company, and hand made bracelets from Shenier Design jewelry store. In the plans is support for the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Food Pantry through a portion of special product sales.

Owners Maria Garzona (in yellow) and Renata Donaghy sweeten up the day for Annmarie Weiss and her four-year-old daughter Isabella, who confides,  “Pink is my favorite color.”

Owners Maria Garzona (in yellow) and Renata Donaghy sweeten up the day for Annmarie Weiss and her four-year-old daughter Isabella, who confides, “Pink is my favorite color.”

Sweet Teez: A Candy Shoppe

157 Larchmont Avenue

914-630-1744

Monday to Thursday 11:30-6:30

Friday and Saturday 11:30 to 7:30

Sunday 12-5

www.sweetteezlarchmont.com

The Candy’s In the Mail

Ann Wilson fills a Sweet Teez container with daughter Emily’s favorites – gummies and sour patch — that the store will ship to the Colgate sophomore.  “We’re candy freaks at my house,” says Ms. Wilson, “and I want to send Emily a little present from home.” Four-year-old Isabella Weiss darts inside from the sidewalk, skims past Ms. Wilson’s legs and makes a beeline to the pink M&Ms, announcing, “Mommy, I’m over here!”

Ms. Garzona fills a bag with the pink sweets and says her favorite is “how much fun everybody’s having.”


Katherine Ann Samon is a Larchmont Gazette business editor, and author of Ranch House Style (Clarkson Potter). Send your business news to BizEditor@larchmontgazette.com

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1 comment to How Sweet*Teez It Is: Hip Candy Shop Opens on Larchmont Ave

  • THE FARINA FAMILY

    We are so excited about having this new GREAT and COOL looking candy store in Larchmont – just what Larchmont needed!!! Thanks and looking forward to visiting this new addition to Larchmont.