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‘Tune in’ to new candy store

Whether you're reading the Pine Journal and enjoying a steaming cup of joe or listening to some Van Morrison on days like this, tune in: The Sweet Life candy shop is now open for candy lovers.

Whether you’re reading the Pine Journal and enjoying a steaming cup of joe or listening to some Van Morrison on days like this, tune in: The Sweet Life candy shop is now open for candy lovers.

The Sweet Life resides inside the multistore First National Plaza building in West End Cloquet, kitty-corner from Robert’s Home Furnishings. It has two entrances: inside the building and the west side of the building. Signifying delectable treats just feet away, be on the lookout for the store’s fold-out sign located on the bright side of the road (Avenue C).

At the entrance, the customer is enveloped into the mystic of a candy store. The smell and sight of the store immediately conjure a little extra saliva.

I, myself, couldn’t resist purchasing strawberry cheesecake fudge and a tangerine jelly belly soda. Let me tell you, it was as sweet as tupelo honey.

Behind the counter is brown eyed girl Amy Louhela, owner of The Sweet Life.

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“I wanted to bring something unique and interesting to Cloquet,” Louhela said.

The domino effect of ideas began when Louhela bought a candy backdrop for her photography studio.

“The backdrop was in high demand and some of my photography customers mentioned that it would be amazing if I had a real candy store,” Louhela said. Then, last summer, she sold candy at the Barnum fair and realized she had a crazy love for it. Hence, the store is born and now open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

The inventory, increasing every day, consists mostly of vintage and novelty candies that are hard to come by nowadays.

“I love candy requests and trying to find the candy that people can’t find anymore,” Louhela said.

Among her favorites are the treats from Sweden Sweets in Superior, Wis., the caramels from Knudsen’s in Red Wing, Minn., and the jelly belly sodas. The Sweet Life has roughly 200 different candies with more on the way.

I had the opportunity to taste test a few items. The Zots give you quite a delicious kick in the middle. As the Mallo Cups, Long Boys, saltwater taffy, caramel, chocolate, old-fashioned hard candies, and much more passed through my lips, it stoned me … this candy shop is a sweet thing.

Plus, if root beer is your kryptonite … well when Jackie Wilson said “this love is real,” he was speaking of the root beer.

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Currently just Louhela’s family works the store, but new employees are part of future plans. In addition, Louhela hopes to organize the store by era and eventually sell homemade candy: “I would love to someday learn how to make my own candy,” Louhela said, adding that “everyday is a candy day.”

To place a candy request, or simply add sweetness in your life, turn off the Van Morrison and visit The Sweet Life today.

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