Previously, on Growing Up Fort Collins…
… we ate salt water taffy, jelly beans, and licorice. We giggled at Kitty Piddle and Bug Barf sodas. We recalled fond memories of sweet treats, and we created a few new memories as well. Our explorations of local candy shops left us with taffy stuck in our teeth, lips stained blue from lollipops, and tummy aches from too much chocolate. If you missed that review of The Candy Bin and Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop, you can read about it here.
Eventually, we descended from that sugar high and swore off sweets. Briefly, anyway. After a few weeks, I announced to my daughter that an appropriate amount of time had passed. We could resume our mission of visiting and reviewing candy shops in Fort Collins. She jumped with joy and promptly asked to invite a friend as we journeyed out for the next stops in our candy tour.
Although the name change is not yet official, this newly-opened sweet shop in Old Town will be changing their moniker soon. Apparently, much confusion has ensued for wandering passersby in search of cocktails and beer. We, however, were pleased with what we discovered inside. Once again, in the style of The Candy Bin, we were greeted with towering buckets of sugary confections just waiting to be scooped into our goodie bags. And scoop we did: chewy fruit candies, banana heads, malted milk balls, chocolate covered almonds, and so much more.
The variety and uniqueness of candy options here is impressive. Chocolate lovers can find their favorite candy bars and those appreciative of nostalgia will find plenty of retro candy options. Customers like me, who grew up in Colorado and have fond memories of childhood visits to Hammond’s Candies in Denver, will be lured to the large selection devoted to this famous Colorado confectioner. Do you enjoy the quick sugar fix of the pixie stix? Try saying that five times fast and then check out the enormous vat of colored sugar by the front windows. Simply grab a tube, fill it with whichever colors you choose, and slam it. I imagine a similar effect could be achieved with a glucose IV drip, but the rainbow sugar dust is a much more enjoyable option.
The environment of The Fort Collins Candy Shop is bright and welcoming, but lacks the charm of Rocket Fizz. Several tables and board games are available for those wanting to stay awhile, and three large television sets play children’s movies. I found the volume to be particularly loud during our visit, but I tend to prefer quieter surroundings in general. I was informed that the shop will soon have an area available for assembling gift baskets, crafts, and small parties. If done well, this is definitely a niche that could set them apart from the other local candy shops. I, for one, am looking forward to checking it out on a return visit!
Best Bet: The Fort Collins Candy Shop is a good option for larger groups. With such a wide variety of treats, there should be no problem satisfying all tastes and preferences. The tables provide a spot to sit and rest your weary feet while enjoying the company of friends and family.
Location: 136 West Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins, CO
How has this store been in Fort Collins since 2008 without my knowing about it? How have I never even heard it mentioned by friends and acquaintances? Instead, I found it completely by accident as we wandered into a neighboring store about a month ago. Located in the shopping plaza behind Red Lobster, All Sweets is a little hidden gem. In fact, of all the shops we have visited, this one was my favorite. Yes, it lacked the fun and playful atmosphere of other local sweet spots. No, it didn’t tap into nostalgic memories with favorite retro candies. However, what All Sweets offers is something new, different, and unusual: treats from around the world. But it doesn’t stop at candy. The inclusion of seemingly random non-candy products, such as coffee, tea, baklava, and even calamari, creates an eclectic experience. I had no idea what I would find around each corner, but I enjoyed the browsing.
My pre-teen was not as excited as I was. I believe she may have even experienced a bit of culture shock. As would be expected, most of the products are not labeled in English and many of our selections were based on the picture on the package. Fortunately, the staff were very knowledgeable and helpful, guiding us to some customer favorites and answering the many questions we had.
Of all four candy shops we’ve visited, we spent the most money here, simply because we were so intrigued by the international options. We couldn’t decide, so we just stocked up: Turkish Delight, German chocolates, Lebanese Pistachio Nougats, Japanese Mochi Balls, and Russian chocolate bars.
Best Bet: Adults will find much to appreciate at All Sweets International Candy Market, but picky kids may need a bit of guidance and coaxing. Travelers may find treats from around the world that bring back some adventurous memories. Those hosting an event may find unique gifts and party favors. Book clubs can select items representing the setting of their latest read. There are so many possibilities.
Location: 3307 South College Avenue #109A, Fort Collins, CO
Now, I’m back on my sugar high. When I come down, perhaps I’ll decide it’s time to review local ice cream parlors. Or cupcake stores. Or chocolatiers.
Or perhaps it will be time for an intervention.