Teenagers munch on cookies. Parents sip smoothies. Children frantically lick the bottom of dripping popsicles. It is quite a busy scene on the small patio in front of the Sweet Shop of Los Altos, but it is no mystery why the candy store, despite having just opened this summer, is already so popular.
The Sweet Shop of Los Altos, located at 944 Los Altos Avenue, satisfies any sugar craving with its considerable variety of sweets Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The selection is plentiful, with over 50 types of candy arranged in colorful candy jars lining the shop’s walls. From Peach Rings to Sour Patch Kids and from licorice to chocolate-covered gummy bears, the Sweet Shop sells enough sugar to make any dentist cringe.
In addition to candy, the Sweet Shop sells several frozen treats for hot days when room-temperature sugar just will not suffice. These options include Drumsticks, It’s Its, Frozen Yogurt and Dippin’ Dots. The Dippin’ Dots, however, come in a package with a reduced serving size, which is a disappointment to a Dippin’ Dots fan expecting the real deal in a cup.
To quench customers’ thirst after sugary treats, the drinks menu includes standard coffee drinks, hot chocolate, Izzies, Vitamin Water and Stewart’s Root Beer.
With such a variety of sweets, some items stand out as must-buys. The dark chocolate-covered espresso beans, for instance, taste even better than they look. The crisp beans hold a burst of authentic coffee flavor, which is accompanied by the sweet edge of quality dark chocolate.
Also from the candy section, the Smooth and Melty Mints are a perfect candy staple. As far as baked goods go, the Snickerdoodle is the best of its kind with its tall and puffy shape, moist texture and just the right amount of cinnamon sugar dusted on top. The Passion Mango Madness Fresh Smoothie is the ideal drink to wash down all that sweetness: real mango bits give this creamy smoothie authentic flavor without being nauseatingly sweet.
Some items not worth trying are the S’mores bar, which tastes nothing like graham crackers, and the Pink Big Top sugar cookie, which is considerably heavy on frosting.
The $8.99 per pound price of candy is expensive and better value could be found at a grocery store. Most baked goods cost around $3, which is on the pricey side as well. However, the small size of frozen yogurt, which costs $2.25, suffices one’s craving. Besides the fro-yo, the items sold are generally not cheap. On the other hand, all proceeds do go to Los Altos Schools, so it is money well spent.
The Sweet Shop has a pleasant appearance from the outside: Striped awnings shade the windows of the mocha-colored building, giving the place a toned-down Willy Wonka feel without the gaudiness. A shaded courtyard area with tables and a fountain provides customers with a cool place to enjoy their treats.
Parking is hard and wait time in line can be bothersome. The shop is crowded in the early afternoon right after school gets out and there is not enough seating to accommodate the throng of customers at this time.
All in all, the atmosphere of the Sweet Shop of Los Altos is what is coolest about the place. It is a cute sit-down sweet shop located close to Egan and nestled in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It is not a candy warehouse if you are looking for that obscure flavor of Jelly Bean, but it is a convenient place for students to indulge their sugar cravings.
Quality: 4 out of 5
Price: 3 out of 5
Variety: 4 out of 5
Ambiance: 5 out of 5