My memories of an old fashioned sweet shop for as long as I can remember was the shop on the corner of our road. It was my favourite place! I would get so excited when I got my pocket money that I would immediately rush down to buy sweets! When you went inside the shop the delicious smell would immediately hit you and all your eyes could take in was row after row of colourful jars filled with all your favourites. All those different varieties that you would expect to see. From boiled, jelly, sour and sugar free, they were all there! I would say 'Please sir, please can I have one from every jar?' and the shopkeeper would laugh and say 'Not today son'. So then I would spend what seemed like hours studying all of them to make sure I made the right decision of what I really wanted to buy.
Every day after school I would pop into that old fashioned sweet shop. A 10p mix-up was quite often my favourite choice. This was a big white paper bag filled with a mix of all my favourite sweets. There were flying saucers, fruit salads, black jacks, refreshers, candy necklaces and more... Some days I would have a sherbet fountain which was a liquorice stick in a packet full of really soft sherbet which melted in your mouth. On other days I would have space dust which is popping candy now called fizz whiz. It's like nothing you have ever tasted before! I would put the whole packet in my mouth and let it crackle and pop like a firework going off, or thats how it seemed to me! I couldn't get enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, so I was a regular customer! There were chocolates, chewing nuts (which is toffee covered in chocolate), chocolate peanuts and raisons, and caramel cups which have all remained favourite treats of mine.
I remember giving my parents some sweets as gifts for Christmas once,as they loved the old fashioned sweets and yes of course I helped eat the odd one. There was something for everyone in that shop so when I discovered that my parents were moving house far away from it I was heartbroken.
It seemed that the old fashioned sweet shops on every corner was slowly disappearing - what a shame when they bring so much happiness for old and young alike. These shops were such a focal point in our communities and villages and were at the heart of the UK.Old and young people dont always have a lot in common, but these shops bought down all known age barriers as people would converse and enjoy them together!
So one day last year when I was thinking about all of these wonderful childhood memories, I felt my sweet tooth telling me something... I could recreate one of those shops just like the one on the corner of my road! So that is exactly what I did. I wanted to see those people, old and young as happy as I was when I was a young lad. The thought of working in such a happy environment, recalling the tastes and smells of the traditional sweets as it I remember helped push my dream along to become a reality. It took alot of hard work, including searching high and low for the true British sweets of days gone by. Good quality ones are hard to find nowadays so the search went on day and night until gradually we found the best around. They had to taste just like the ones I remembered or they just wouldnt do. They had to bring back the memories I had and used to love as a child.
When Sweet Heaven finally opened its doors, the shop was crammed with all of the old favourites I remembered and more. There were over 200 varieties to choose from, including a good quality sugar free range. We have got it all. There are traditional sweets that have changed their names, like Coconut Tobacco which used to be known as Spanish Gold, or Fizz Whiz used to be known as space dust which I used to love. There are Sherbet Fountains which still have the same name but different packaging. They used to be all paper which used to go all sticky and was all part of the fun. Black Jacks and Fruit Salads which have just been made bigger now, but still taste exactly the same. Yes, our retro sweet shop has it all, it really is Sweet Heaven as our name says. When the first person walked through the doors of the shop, their comments and the look on their face was already worth all the hard work I had put in to get the shop up and running. Comments such as "I havent seen a sweet shop like this for years" and "I cant believe how many different varieties you have, where did you get them all from?" to "I haven't seen these since I was a boy!". Customers would actually have debates amongst themselves about what traditional sweets they remembered and would spend time describing them to each other. The shop was as I had hoped it would be.. making people happy. Our customers will spend a while just looking and chatting before eventually buying lots of the treats they used to have when they were young from the old fashioned sweet shop on the corner of their road. People just kept coming and chatting and buying from us. Everybody was so happy to see such a great shop just like the one they had on the corner of their own street.
The word spread about Sweet Heaven. People would ask others and say 'Have you seen that new shop in the village?' (with the younger generation they would say have you seen the new retro sweet shop) and people would come from miles around. The queues used to be out of the door - I had done it! I was re-living the dreams from when I was a boy. What a nice job to have! We also sold gifts which were becoming ever more popular throughout the year. It started just before Valentines Day. We had lots of retro Valentines gifts from a single chocolate heart in a heart gift box, to an ultimate retro wicker hamper. There is a sweet gift for everyone. Then there was Mothers Day. We had gifts of chocolates, candy and more... There were a lot of happy mums around! Easter was next; we had more gifts with our chocolate range being incredibly popular as people wanted to give something different to their family and friends rather than the ever present Cadburys Easter eggs, so they gave traditional sweets instead. With our retro range, you can get your gifts personalised with your own message! After Easter came Fathers Day which proved just as popular as Mothers day. We had children emptying their money boxes on the counter to buy their Dads some of their favourite goodies that they had talked about when they were a lad.. Then before we knew it we were right in the season for weddings! We have a big selection of wedding favours or 'favors' as some people now spell it! We have a selection of mini heart shaped dragees and all different colours of sugared almonds. There are Mr and Mrs rock sweets and Just Married chocolates and plenty of retro gifts for all the people who helped to make your big day special.
Halloween then came, with its 'trick or treating' you can buy all your scary sweets and treats. There are jelly spiders, jelly worms, red eye skulls, skeletons, dracula teeth and more! All of this went down so well that we even had the Rocky Horror Show contact us for our ghoolish treats. Lastly, Christmas came. This season just ended the Year on such a high for us and it was non stop until Christmas Eve! For those of you who didnt visit us, you can get all of your Christmas gifts and retro sweets and gifts from us next year. We have gifts from retro cubes to gold and black gift boxes full of delicious candy, right up to large wicker hampers. It's a magical time of the year so make someone happy with gifts from Sweet Heaven.
People would say to me 'I wish I could have my traditional sweets delivered to one of my relatives or friends and suprise them. So many people were asking me about having gifts delivered that I decided to sell my products online. It was another big task to build a website and sell sweets online so I started working day and night, hand in hand with my designer to get all my products online. There was a lot more to it than I thought, but I pushed ahead with it. Eventually it was done and www.sweetheaven-online.co.uk opened its doors and they stayed open. People started to order their old fashioned sweets and gifts from us and they got them delivered to their doors the next day as we offer next day delivery,or a free standard delivery service. As with the shop, I couldnt believe how busy we were, people would order from us online at work or when they got home and get there order was delivered the next day. It was so convenient for them, the orders just kept coming and coming.Retro sweets online are very popular, we have large companies ordering in bulk from us as corporate rewards. Companies like Bupa, X-Factor, Loose Women and The Sunday Mirror magazine have ordered from us and many more. Such was their satisfaction that they have written us complimetary testimonials. We are going from strength to strength. Online sweets have really taken off. People order for all occassions - it is suprising and wonderful as to how many occassions we find reason in our lives to celebrate. When some of the orders are recieved by our online shop it makes us smile to see the messages that people want us to send on their behalf to personalise their traditiona sweets and I am sure it makes their friends and relations smile too when they receive them the next day.
So there you have it. If you would have said to me when I was a boy going into the old fashioned sweet shop on the corner of our road that I would have a similar shop when I was older, I wouldn't have been able to stop laughing and my reply would have been 'I wish!'. Also, if you'd have said that I would have been selling retro sweets online... Well I dont think computers were even thought of back in the good old days when life was as simple as the 10p mix-up. In fact, I have only just started using computers myself in the last few years which makes my story of an online sweet shop even more unlikely to believe. It seems to be a natural progression in our fast paced life now, because everyone is so busy nowadays rushing from here to there, they can simply go to their computer in the middle of their busy day or when they get home from work and order traditional sweets and gifts online just for a treat or for a special occassion and they will get them delivered to their door the next day.
The next time you can spare 5 minutes out of your day why not take a trip down memory lane to Sweet Heaven at www.sweetheaven-online.co.uk. You will not believe it when you come inside and see how our shelves are crammed with jars and jars of all the best retro sweets we can find and only the finest would do for me! They had to taste just how they tasted when I was boy from the shop on the corner of my road; so order online and get them delivered the free of charge.
Make someone smile when they arrive and bring back all those old memories for them too.
For those of you reading this who are already customers of Sweet Heaven, I would like to thank you for all your support and hope to see you all again for some more. For those of you who are new to our site, give us a try and let us take you down memory lane...