Candy store brings sweet deals to Bay Street

"With the approach of Valentine's Day, many citizens of Port Orchard may be looking for a way to surprise their sweethearts with some sort of sugary confection. Instead of the trek to Silverdale or Seattle, a stop along Bay Street at the brand new business The Candy Shoppe could end gift-giving woes - and hunger pangs.Candy's just a simple joy, said owner Sandy Charbonneau. Anything that can bring people together is a good idea. The Charbonneau family are the proprietors of the business and consist of Sandy, her husband Steve, and their children Rebecca and Alex. Sandy and Steve Charbonneau primarily started the business to be educational for their children, who are home-schooled.We home-educate, and this is a learning experience, said Sandy Charbonneau. These kids are so creative and they get limited by school.The Candy Shoppe is unique because of the wide and diverse selection of candy. From jawbreakers and taffy to specialty-brand chocolates and homemade fudge, the Charbonneaus are well-equipped to serve even the most demanding sweet tooth.I've got about 100 recipes for fudge, said Sandy Charbonneau. We started out with 600 pounds of taffy, 25 pounds of each flavor.There are currently 12 flavors of fudge available right now, including Creamsicle, Java Jolt, and Snickers, but Sandy Charbonneau will continue to try others. She makes the fudge in the store in a fudge cooker that holds up to 36 pounds of fudge at one time. Sandy also makes chocolates and nut clusters, and is looking to try out some new homemade item ideas.I would like to try special Port Orchard lines, she said, giving the tentative titles of Wolf Paw in honor of a popular South Kitsap mascot and also discussed Seagull Plops for the Chamber of Commerce. Taffy, although not made in the store, comes in a variety of different flavors such as marionberry and Kahlua. Whirley Pops, chocolate-covered cherries, licorice, dessert sticks and even actual penny candy fill the tiny shop, which makes up for size with colorful displays and a cornucopia of sweet items. The Candy Shoppe gets its candy shipped from many different places - New York, California, Pennsylvania and Brazil, to name a few. Even though the majority of candy comes from far away, Sandy Charbonneau, who was born in Port Orchard, wants to keep things simple.Our card and logo are black and white - no pictures of candy, explained Charbonneau. Everybody has a favorite type. Whatever candy means to them is what they picture in their mind and they'll come.The grand opening of The Candy Shoppe will be on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. The Chamber of Commerce will honor the business with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with appearences from Mr. Jelly Belly and chances for customers to enter into a drawing with a grand prize of a night's stay at a jacuzzi and fireplace suite at Haus Rohrbach Pension in Leavenworth.Gift certificates, a sugar-free section, and treats for pets are also available at The Candy Shoppe. Upcoming plans include pinatas, seasonal flavors, and a wrapping center to decoratively wrap candy for gifts.We love this town, said Sandy Charbonneau. Port Orchard deserves joy, and it'll be good for all the businesses. All of the people have been nice and encouraging and it's been an answer to my prayers. "

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