Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Candy Source: Powell’s Sweet Shoppe

imageMany months ago a reader, Todd, told me about Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in Windsor, California.

Little did I know my summer vacation would take me right there ... twice.

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe is more than just a simple candy shop. They have a fantastic selection of retro candy bars, bulk candies like ColorWorks M&Ms, Jelly Belly and other wrapped candies like Smarties, salt water taffy and Mary Janes. They also have a large selection of Twinkle lollipops and novelty items including tins of gum and mints all displayed in old buffets and apothecary cupboards. Don’t worry, they didn’t leave out chocolate aficianados, there was a decent selection of high end chocolate bars from Scharffen Berger, Hachez, Michel Cluizel and others.

Then there’s the gelato ... and soda pop. They have a huge selection of sodas in glass bottles from the plain old Crush to the microbrewed Root Beers.

But they also had a good selection of UK import bars, classic candy boxes and huge display of Fizzies (which have returned after being off the market for decades).

imageThe prices were decent. I picked up a few classic regional bars for 89 cents each.

The biggest find there was a trove of Reeds candies in Root Beer and Cinnamon flavor. I know that there are quite a few people who have been looking high and low for them, well there are at least a dozen full boxes there in Windsor.

Windsor itself is an odd town. At first glance it looks like Healdsburg or any number of Victorian-era settlements off of Highway 101. But a closer inspection reveals that it’s all new construction. The center of town with its charming facades and pastels/terra cotta colors is pretty much turn of this century. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to live in a town that has a vibrant downtown and centralized gathering place. It just took me by surprise. For more on that see this article from SFGate.

Powell’s is completely themed with candy but a bit of a jumble. There is a soundtrack for the store and it consists of the song “Pure Imagination” sung by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Over and over again. Add to that a little viewing area in the back with a loop of the movies. I was in the store for four loops of the song ... I don’t know how you could work there without going batty. That said, when I asked the sales staff about the Reeds candies, all they knew was that they were discontinued, they wouldn’t sell a whole box at any discount and they flat out refused to consider shipping them at all.

I also stopped at their sister store in Healdsburg (purely by coincidence) which is slightly smaller but had the same inventory.

If you’re toodling around wine country, it’s a great stop for something a little different. There were plenty of families with kids there, but also a good share of grownups shopping by themselves.

Powell’s Sweet Shoppes
720 McClelland Drive
Windsor, CA

322 Center Street
Healdsburg, CA

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:08 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     Shopping

  1. I knew you would like it….

    We have been back 3 times since I first told you about it.

    Every time spening well over 50$. You are right it is so much fun to stop there while wine tasting! Someday I want to open a store like this, but I’m afraid I will eat the inventory before I sell it!!

    Comment by Todd on 8/02/06 at 10:32 am #
  2. Yep, it’s an incredible store.  My kids and I visit the store everytime we travel to my sister’s house.  My kids love the novelty sour stuff.  I can’t believe I found Flicks again.  Rumor has it they are opening a Powell’s in old town Novato on Grant Avenue.  With a little investigation I found out it was true.

    Comment by Kathy on 8/22/06 at 7:00 pm #
  3. Powell’s has just opened a shop on the Pearl Street Mall, a downtown pedestrian zone, in Boulder, CO. My husband and I didn’t spend as much as Todd, above, did, but we did inflict some damage on our wallets and waistlines. I blogged about Powell’s too at

    Comment by Claire Walter on 11/10/06 at 4:42 am #
  4. I love going to Powells they are also opening one in Petaluma Ca right across from the threatre.

    Comment by Rayne on 11/19/06 at 2:25 pm #
  5. My family loves Powells.  We go there everytime we visit my sister.  I have never seen a candy store like this one!!  My kids, niece and nephew love the soda fountain.  You can get gummy candy in your soda!  What kid doesn’t like that!  I always get the honeycomb and abbazabba…ahhh to be a kid again!

    Comment by Laura Erickson on 12/11/06 at 6:20 pm #
  6. We are moving to Boise, Idaho and heard that Powell’s might be coming to Boise.  Is this true?  Tell us more about the Boise location if it is true.

    Comment by Dan Basalone on 12/30/06 at 4:26 pm #
  7. Hi my name is Amanda and I have grown up in Windsor but have been attending Chico State for the last two years.  I have a cousin liz who works at Powell’s in windsor and I just recently found out that another shop has opened up in Chico.  I was just wondering where in Chico is this new shop located.
    Thank You
    Amanda Montenegro

    Comment by Amanda Montenegro on 1/02/07 at 11:32 am #
  8. [comment removed by request of original poster]

    Comment by clb on 1/06/07 at 1:51 pm #
  9. Powell’s has baskets for collecting the goodies; no need to put the candy in your pocket.

    Comment by Dan Basalone on 1/13/07 at 10:26 am #
  10. VISIT THE BOULDER STORE! I love Powells on the Pearl Street Mall. I go there often for the Gelato and my favorite old time sweets. I find the employees to be friendly and helpful. I can see where there would be quite a problem with shoplifters. I don’t know how they deal with this reoccurring problem. My advice to Ms LeBlanc would be to educate your college age son not to put merchandise in his pockets while in a store!

    Comment by Michelle White on 1/21/07 at 7:10 am #
  11. There is one in Boise now.
    If you Take Parkcenter Blvd all the way down till it curves into another St it will be on your left after the curve.
    I cant remember the name of the St it turns into, but if you think you are lost just keep following parkcenter until you cant follow it anymore

    Comment by Niki on 2/16/07 at 9:28 pm #
  12. My wife and I visited Boise recently and visited Powell’s Sweet Shoppe…it was truly a WOW experience.  Of course we are prejudiced because our daughter and son-in-law are the owner managers.  On the plane trip back to Los Angeles, a lady seated in front of us had a Powell’s candy bag…she said that whe was visiting her father in Boise and when she stepped off the airplane, he told her that they had to visit Powell’s so that she could experience something special….now we are glad to hear that Powell’s will be coming to our California home town, Fullerton.  Hope that this is true?

    Comment by Dan Basalone on 3/17/07 at 6:39 pm #
  13. Yes!  I hear there is a Fullerton store in the works (according to their website)!  I guess we will have to stay posted to find out when and where.

    Comment by Candy Conoser on 3/21/07 at 7:55 am #
  14. well i love your candy and the sweet shoppe your store is filled with candy and all of the music and the little thearter with thouse little old seats they really gave my little heart being filled with hope and joy

        from, Cece

    Comment by Cece on 3/29/07 at 6:01 am #
  15. do you know where i can find flavor straws for milk, chocolate and strawbery flavors. i think they came in . i got them yrs ago   thank you so much fove


    Comment by dee on 6/02/07 at 9:17 am #
  16. Well, I had a bad experience at the Powell candy store in Petaluma.  A man, who was minding the store was extremely sour, the opposite of sweet you might say.  I had ridden my bike there to gather at least $40 worth of candy for my son’s birthday party.  I had forgotten my bike lock and my new bike was more than precious to me.  I wanted it in my sight.  Also, there have been a lot of thefts lately in Petaluma.  I asked if I could park my bike inside the front door.  Understandibly, he said no which I fully understood.  So I parked it near the door so I could watch it.  I shopped and put my purchases on the ice cream counter.  When I was ready, a nice lady said she would allow me to shop from the ice cream location.  The “man” interviened and said “no” he could not take the items from the ice cream bar and would not help me relocate them to check out counter 3 feet away, but out of sight of my bike.  I found this to be less than helpful under the circumstances, if anyone has had children, they know that a little help goes a long way.  As a result of this experience, I really do not want to go and shop there any more as this seemed very petty on his part and an extra helping of “service” would have gone a long way to help me in that awkward moment.  Of course I did not EXPECT him to accomodate my situation but it sure would have kept my business if he had been helpful in that moment!  In today’s world good service is worth any price.  Too bad my six year old will only know Winsome Lass as long as it is open.

    Comment by wendy Calomiris on 6/13/07 at 5:30 pm #
  17. Wendy,

    Too bad you did not stick around long enough to get the help you were looking for.  I had no idea you were keeping an eye on your bike.  I simply came up to the counter as you had just laid your product out.  Had you said something I could have been of help to you.

    You simply and rudely walked off. I do not take money over the ice cream counter.  What if the “dirty” bills fall into the Gelato?  I would have been helpful, I do accommodate people when they ask.

    My assistant tried to offer you help many times.  Your rudeness to her was unnecessary as well.

    I am sorry you had a bad experience, someday maybe you will try again.


    Will Bomar
    Owner, Powell’s Sweet Shoppe - Petaluma

    Comment by Will on 6/23/07 at 11:52 am #
  18. Where is Willy Wonka?

    Comment by BOB on 6/29/07 at 10:30 am #
  19. Cybele's avatar

    Bob - If you’re asking about the inappropriate comment you posted here on Wednesday signed as Willy Wonka, I removed that. This is a bike-friendly blog.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/29/07 at 10:37 am #
  20. Dear Will,
    I did ask for your help. I asked you if I could put my bike inside, as stated in my original comments. Also, I also stated in my comments that your assistant was very helpful and nice.  She offered to assist me well before I was done shopping. 

    You state I wasn’t “around” long enough to “get the proper assistance” but in fact, I was in your store for at least 20 minutes and I told you I had forgotten my bike lock and was nevous about theft.  Don’t you recall offering me the bike rack usage out in front of the store? It was at this point I said that I had forgotten my bike lock and was nervous about leaving it outside. 

    Yes I did walk out of the store leaving my selection on the counter, but at this point it was pretty clear to me that you had no intentions of helping me and I was annoyed.  I won’t deny this. 

    Since I felt I had made my dilemma clear to you, my bike anxiety, no lock, etc., I felt you were informed. It was after this that you wanted me to take my stack of thiry packs of gum from the icecream counter, three feet over to the checkout counter (which would have put me behind the huge “peace” sign thus blocking my view of my bike through the glass). From my point of view, all this occured without offering to help me by getting me a basket for my purchases, or offering me a bag, or even coming around my side of the counter and moving it for me(it was a large purchase - birthday party favors) and I was feeling taken advantage of at this point.  I felt that your “service” radar was short waved at this point and if I “asked” for assistance any further, I would have been patronizing. I didn’t want to be that way.

    I don’t mind your comments, however, they are slightly inaccurate. You and I did have exchanges that informed you of my situation.  Maybe this situation falls somewhere in between me not being clear enough about my situation, and you not presenting yourself as “helping the customer” to the degree that you think you are.

    Either way, I would have liked something a little more inviting like, “sorry you felt this way, come down to the store again, and I’de be pleased to see you.”  Even if I was “out to lunch”. 

    Lastly, your assitant was fine, and kind.  Anyway, it’s not that big of a deal, but I am a stickler for being precise, and I feel this case deserves clarification.  Thanks for the offer and I will be in again to “let go” and allow my experience to be chalked up to “misperception” of a reality.  Perhaps you might come accross as a little less “all business” and a little more warm? 



    Comment by wendy Calomiris on 7/01/07 at 9:43 pm #
  21. Dear Wendy:

    I appreciate the comments as well, I feel it helps us all. 

    I don’t feel I was inaccurate, I feel there was definite misunderstandings. My assistant later told me you did not want to let the bike out of your site.  I had no idea you were that nervous about it. I have people ask to leave their bikes and skateboards all the time.  Technically bike are not allowed in the courtyard.

    I am very service oriented, I would have gladly helped had I known you did not want to let the bike out of your site.

    Hopefully our next interaction will be much more pleasurable.


    Will Bomar
    Owner - Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, Petaluma

    Comment by Will on 7/02/07 at 5:39 am #
  22. Take it easy!...girlfriend. Enjoy your NEXT trip to Powell’s, by walking to the candy store.  Perhaps the PEACE sign you stood next too was a subliminal messege meant for you. Think about it. PEACE!

    My last blog was pulled ... How come Will? I was not trying to be rude.
    On that particular day I had just received some bad news and I was having my own bad/sad day. Although, I didn’t take it out on you or your candy store.
    While shopping in your store (early June) I stumbled upon your “Sad Wiener GUM,” I laughed and laughed. I purchased several packages. I spent a total of 50+ dollars on various other chocolate yummies. Needless to say, I no longer have a sad wiener!

    Laughter and chocolate are the BEST MEDICINE!
    Could you please give Wendy a gift certificate to Powell’s? I’ll bet her attitude changes real quick…and no longer will she be a SAD WIENER.

    Peace out,
    Willi W. (a happier wiener-dog)
    AKA German: Dashound

    Comment by Willi Wonka on 7/05/07 at 9:39 am #
  23. Cybele's avatar

    “Willi” or BOB or whatever your name is - you seem to be under the impression that this blog has any association with Powell’s ... it does not. Will and Wendy are simply commenters, as you are.

    I pulled your previous comment, as I mentioned above, because it was inappropriate and insulting ... if that was you “trying not to be rude” then I think you need to try a lot harder.

    Comment by Cybele on 7/05/07 at 9:49 am #
  24. Hey Amanda,
    It looks like no one has taken the time to tell you where the shoppe in Chico is. I just saw there commercial. It is located on Third St!

    Enjoy your visit! Study Hard!

    Comment by bubbebobbie on 10/13/07 at 6:26 am #
  25. Do you presently have any Reed Candy Rolls in butterscotch, butter rum and/or cinnamon?  If so, please contact me.  Thank you.  P. Shoop

    Comment by Patricia Shoop on 6/29/09 at 7:26 am #
  26. In the 1970’s, my aunt and I used to ride our bikes to the general store to get Reed’s candy.  She loved Root Beer while I liked the cinnamon & butterscotch were my favorites.

    Comment by R J Leach on 7/19/09 at 9:27 am #
  27. Where can I find Reeds cinnamon rolls?  Please let me know.

    Comment by Bill Dickinson on 9/28/09 at 7:12 am #
  28. Cybele's avatar

    Reed’s were discontinued several years ago.

    See more about it here. Wrigley’s owns the brand, try writing to them.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/28/09 at 7:18 am #
  29. May I purchase on line Butterscotch, cinnamon and root beer lifesavers from your store?

    Comment by Janet Price on 4/27/10 at 9:36 am #
  30. Janet,

    Most stores I am aware of carry life savers, the only ones that the stores may carry though are the butterscotch.  We don’t have root beer or cinnamon.

    Powell’s, Petaluma

    Comment by Will on 4/27/10 at 9:47 am #
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