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 .