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Shop the Heartland: Sugar Makery

Posted at 8:13 AM, May 06, 2021

GLENWOOD, Iowa. (KMTV) — A candy store in Iowa sells all your childhood favorites and then some.

The goal at Sugar Makery is to bring back those childhood memories for adults and create new memories for kids.

The small-town store is getting some big-time reviews so 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole went to go check it out.

In the small town of Glenwood, Iowa sits a cozy candy shop filled with goodies.

"We can tell when a newcomer comes in because their eyes just get big and they don't know where to look," said owner Alexis McCue.

The entire store is inspired by just one candy.

Alexis McCue's father always made Almond Butter Toffee for his nurses when he was receiving treatments for cancer.

"We always used to joke that he would make them candy because they would be a little nicer to him because he was just ornery," she shared.

"So he was passing away in hospice ... and I said do you want me to make your toffee and take it to your nurses and he said yeah," she recalled.

Three months after he died, she finally made her dad's toffee.

"And you know what - that toffee was probably the best toffee that I ever made," she reminisced. And after that first batch of toffee, I was like oh my God, I think I'm supposed to make candy."

Five years after making delicious treats at craft shows, her good friend (at the time) Malcolm, gave her the push she needed.

"You've always wanted a candy store, so let's open a candy store. And I feel like I remember putting my hands on my hips like are you serious, and so we opened a candy store," she explained.

The duo did their research.

"We went to a bunch of candy stores. The first thing we always asked was do you make everything here? And never, not one time did somebody say yes we make everything. So it's like shoot, we got to make everything," she laughed.

"So we make everything in the chocolate case and we even put a little sign at the top that says yes, we made it," she added.

It's just not the sweet treats in the chocolate case.

They make fudge at the store, too.

"They love the Salted Caramel Roll. That's our number one selling flavor," McCue shared.

The candy makers didn't stop there.

They have more than 50 flavors of gourmet popcorn all created in-house.

"Our number one selling popcorn is our Zebra popcorn. It's caramel drizzled with white chocolate, milk chocolate sprinkled with sea salt," she described.

It goes so fast they make the batches in 20-gallon tubs.

If you don't want popcorn or candy, the Sugar Makery's still got you covered.

"We make all of our hand-packed ice cream," she said proudly.

Alexis has now mastered the frozen treats, too.

"We also make sure we have some dairy-free options," she added.

It's not just about the homemade goodies. Sugar Makery has an entire soda room. They have more than 250 different varieties of glass soda bottles in the store.

"I think that's what separates us with anybody else is the variety that we have," she said.

Alexis and Malcolm are now happily married.

"I asked him to marry me," she laughed.

The customers who come here are just as joyful.

"The little kids are obviously are very happy, but surprisingly it's the adults that are just as happy because they'll come in and become kids again," Malcolm McCue said.

Nearly four years after opening, success is sweet.

"I still can't believe it. I still get weepy about it. I still walk in and I'm like this is my store," Alexis admitted.

And that Almond Butter Toffee will always be a tasty tribute to her dad.

"He would be so proud," she said tearfully.

Every Monday is Monday Munchies at Sugar Makery, so Alexis and her crew make a brand new popcorn flavor.

Alexis isn't done creating. She hopes to start making her own candy canes by Christmas.

The Glenwood store, located at 204 Sharp, did so well they now have a second store in Council Bluffs.

It's located at 19278 Conifer Lane. That store also has a full dessert bakery where they make custom cakes.

To see all the treats for yourself, go to their website.

Both stores are offering Mother's Day arrangements. Call (712) 527-2953 to place an order at the Glenwood store and (712) 323-4501 for the Council Bluffs location.

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