Northwest Sweets Opens

With the exception of a defibrillator, nothing warms the heart faster than a good old-fashioned candy shop. Thus, my heart went a-thumpin’ when it heard that Northwest Sweets had opened on NW 23rd Avenue.

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Because what the world needs now is more candy shops, sweet candy shops.
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The longtime dream of Steve Gazda, a pastry chef and cooking instructor who now bears the title of “Confectioner,” Northwest Sweets is part old time sweets store, part candy factory. Towards the back of the store is an open kitchen where Gazda creates his own chocolate truffles, in unusual flavors like Applewood Bacon, Passionfruit, Chestnut Honey, Absinthe, Earl Grey, and Masala. The Passionfruit are particularly popular, Gazda was in the midst of filling a large holiday order when I visited the shop.

If you are still thinking about what to get me for Christmas, I would like to point out the HUGE SACK of Guittard Chocolate in the picture below.

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If you’re interested in making your own truffles, Gazda has a carefully chosen selection of books about chocolate, and he sells high quality French Belgian Cacao Berry couverture in bulk for $8/lb. He even stocks nearly impossible to find truffle molds.

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Other housemade sweets include fruit jellies, various nut brittles, caramels, toffee, and spiced butternut squash balls.

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The perfect stocking stuffer, Northwest Sweets’ marshmallows (Vanilla, Peppermint, and Caramel, $1 for two) are shaped like giant dollops of whipped cream and are destined to crown a steaming mug of rich, thick, creamy hot chocolate.

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There are giant lollipops that evoke childhood memories of pulling an orange square card and landing in Candy Land’s Lollipop Woods.

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And if you wish to wax nostalgic, a full selection of retro candies round out the shop’s cache of sugar, spice, and everything nice.

You’ll find Now and Laters, Fireballs, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mary Janes, Jawbreakers, Pixy Stix, Pop Rocks, Wax Lips, Fun Dip, Chick-O-Sticks, Nerds, Candy Buttons, Root Beer Barrels, Jolly Ranchers, Butter Rum Lifesavers, Choward’s Violet Mints, Candy Cigarettes, and all the ‘heads–Lemon, Grape, and Apple. Speaking of stocking stuffers, buying retro candy for all the good boys and girls on your list won’t break the bank, everything is priced between 10 cents and $1.25.

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And if you’re in need of gum, Northwest Sweets has Got Gum. Big League Chew, bubble gum cigars, vintage Beeman’s, Clove, and Black Jack gum, and Clark’s Teaberry gum.

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So, if you’re strolling NW 23rd anytime soon, you might want to pop in and give your sweet tooth something to ache about.

740 NW 23rd Ave. Portland (corner of NW 23rd & NW Johnson) * Daily 10am – 7pm * 503.360.1350 * www.nwsweets.com