The alluring aroma of waffle cones is impossible to miss as you stroll past Shenanigans Sweets and Treats in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Year-round, the enticing smell of fresh-cooked cones wafts its way from the popular hole-in-the-wall candy store beckoning passersby.
“Everybody just loves that smell,” says Shenanigans manager Mallary Jaurez.
With more than 35 ice cream flavors to choose from, concocting the perfect cone is part of the fun, she adds. And waffle cones are only the tip of the iceberg. Shenanigans boasts hundreds of sugary treats ready to dazzle and delight.
Got a sweet tooth? With summer set to officially kick off June 21, the National Confectioners Association has some tantalizing news: June is National Candy Month—the perfect time to celebrate the authentic, fun treats that American candy companies have been dishing out for well over 100 years.
While you can satisfy your candy fix at any grocery outlet with a traditional Snickers, Baby Ruth or Butterfinger, there’s something special about a store that dedicates its entire inventory to sugary delights you won’t find in the grocery isle.
Thankfully, Coeur d’Alene has no shortage of candy stores waiting to entice your inner Willy Wonka desires. Each offers a wide variety of specialty chocolates, lollipops, jelly beans, gummy bears, cotton candy, taffy, mints and much more.
At Shenanigans, it may be the handmade waffle cones may lure people inside, but it’s the vast inventory of sweets—from “super yummy” chocolate covered marshmallows, to jelly bellies, truffles, sea-salt caramels, nuts, toffees and more—that keeps customers coming back.
With more than 200 types of candies, including many artisan sweets made by a Spokane candy maker, Jaurez says Shenanigans has something to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Beyond the unique and ever-popular hand-prepared candies that fill the shelves at Shenanigans, the store also offers “retro treats” that will take candy lovers back in time. Sweets like Big Hunks, Zero Bars, candy cigars, salt water taffy (over 56 flavors) and, of course, the iconic Idaho Spud bar.
“What people of all ages love about this place is all the positive energy,” Jaurez says. “It’s a happy place; people really have fun here; they love coming in and seeing all the colors, everything we have.”
A growing industry
According to Consumer Goods, a research company that complies market data on consumable products, Americans spent $21.5 billion on candy in 2017 and annual sales have grown about 3 percent during the past five years. Sweet!
And candy isn’t just a hit during major holidays like Easter and Halloween (which generate $3.6 billion in sales). Americans are candy lovers through and through, spending more than $17.9 billion on every day, non-seasonal treats, Consumer Goods reports.
Worry not, there’s plenty of candy to go around in the Lake City. About a block down the street from Shenanigans (312 Sherman Ave.), another specialty sweet treat store awaits candy lovers.
Mrs. Honeypeeps Sweet Shop, located in The Coeur d’Alene Resort Plaza Shops, is an open-spaced candy shop teeming with vibrant treats like taffy, slushees, pucker powder, fresh made cotton candy, candy/caramel apples, sundaes, floats and another local favorite: huckleberry milkshakes.
The shop screams for attention with floor-to-ceiling windows that welcome sweet-tooth cravings from the young, and young at heart.
If history repeats itself at Mrs. Honeypeeps, and owner Brett Sommers is certain it will, the busy season has arrived.
“We definitely see an increase in customers during the summer,” Sommers says. Indeed, between June 15 and the first week of September last year, Mrs. Honeypeeps tabulated 51,000 receipts (or business transactions), according to the candy proprietor.
Sommers said his candy store also offers something most candy lovers don’t associate with sweets indulgence: treats with a healthy twist.
“Our organic candy is something that is really becoming more popular,” he says. For example, Mrs. Honeypeeps has created Northwest Health Bars made from figs and sunflower seeds with natural flavoring. “I’ve tried them and they’re delicious,” he says.
But the market for super-sweets is in no danger of doom because the love for candy has no boundaries.
“Our store isn’t just for kids,” Sommer says. “We had a lady the other day come in who was 101 years old and she’s been here more than once.”
The allure is simple—a sucker is still a sucker. There may be more diversity in the world of candy making, but the concept hasn’t changed for over a century.
“It’s a comfort thing and it doesn’t have a huge price tag,” Sommers says. “No matter what the economy does or anything else, everyone is able to spend a couple of dollars for that amount of comfort from candy.”