Saugatuck Sweets To Serve Up Treats, Nostalgia In Westport

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Westport residents Al DiGuido and Pete Romano are opening Saugatuck Sweets later this month at 575 Riverside Ave.
Westport residents Al DiGuido and Pete Romano are opening Saugatuck Sweets later this month at 575 Riverside Ave. Photo Credit: Liana Sonenclar

WESTPORT, Conn. — Westport residents of all ages will soon be able to satisfy their sweet tooths —  and then some — at Saugatuck Sweets, an old-fashioned neighborhood sweet shop set to open in Saugatuck Center.

The brainchild of residents Al DiGuido and Pete Romano, Saugatuck Sweets will serve up a variety of tasty treats, including ice cream, yogurt, bulk candy and specialty desserts. It will also be a place to grab a milkshake, egg cream or ice cream float and catch up with friends, family and neighbors.

“Our focus is to bring the community together and have some fun doing it,” said DiGuido, a longtime resident and founder of the Westport-based nonprofit Al’s Angels. “We want to bring a local feeling back into the town. That seems to have been lost when all the chain stores came in and took away our small-time flavor.”

Hoping to create an environment where everyone feels like a kid, Saugatuck Sweets will carry 100 different types of bulk candy, including popular treats from yesteryear, like Mary Jane, Bit-O-Honey, Super Cola Bottles, Atomic Fireballs, Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, Strawberry Laces, money salt licorice and of course, candy necklaces. There will also be Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, Good & Plenty, Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales and more.

“Kids are going to love it,” DiGuido said. “But I think adults will love it more because every adult has a little kid inside them.”

Saugatuck Sweets will also have 16 different flavors of hard ice cream, plus soft serve and yogurt, DiGuido said. Ice cream offerings will include a variety of ice cream sandwiches, like the “Manny Special.” The treat — vanilla ice cream served between two warm chocolate chip cookies — is sure to stir up nostalgia for Staples High School alumni, DiGuido said.

Also on the menu will be a range of desserts and drinks, like apple pie a la mode, coffee and espresso. If that wasn’t enough, Saugatuck Sweets will also sell gift baskets.

The idea to open a neighborhood sweet shop is one DiGuido said he and Romano, a Saugatuck native, entertained for many years. DiGuido said they decided to make their dream a reality after 575 Riverside Ave., the original Craft Butchery location, became available last fall.

“Our roots are in Saugatuck,” said DiGuido. “We hope to be a beacon inside Saugatuck."

Saugatuck Sweets is scheduled to open later this month. However, the store will be open Saturday, Feb. 8, and Sunday, Feb. 9, from noon to 4 p.m., selling an assortment of Valentine’s Day treats and gifts. For more information, visit the Saugatuck Sweets Facebook page.

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