Newton candy store is a cornucopia of colors and confections

Maria's Sweets & Candy Shoppe offer flavors galore


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  • Photos by Laurie Gordon Maria-Victoria Gicala at the counter of her new candy store on Spring Street.



Maria's Sweets & Candy Shoppe

Address
135 Spring Street
Newton, N.J.
Hours
Tuesday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Open late on evenings where there are performances at the Newton Theatre
Contact
https://marias-sweets-and-candy-shoppe.myshopify.com
973-362-0052 or info@sweetscandyshoppe.com

Maria-Victoria Gicala recently opened Maria's Sweets & Candy Shoppe on Spring Street, in Newton.

"I was looking to open some sort of business and candy is happy and cheerful," she said.

"I was looking to open some sort of business and candy is happy and cheerful,"
— Maria-Victoria Gicala, owner of Maria's Sweets & Candy Shoppe

Getting started
After thoroughly researching similar shops, types of inventory and locations of such stores in the area, she decided on Newton because, "Spring Street reminds me of what it was like 50 years ago with little shops specializing in different things. There was no candy store there, and with the theater in town, it just seemed like a great location."

As to the inventory, Gicala felt that going with good, old-fashioned candy plus some chocolates and other novelties would appeal to customers.

Gicala is also no stranger to Sussex County. She moved to Augusta, 26 years ago and attended school at Reverend Brown and then Pope John High School in Sparta. She went on to the University of Hawaii where she majored in fashion. After several years in the industry, she realized that she could use her experience from retail manager into owning her own business.

Sweet offerings
Maria's Sweets & Candy Shoppe opened two months ago and already has a following of customers. Her niche is "penny candy" which refers to individually wrapped candies of all sorts plus large containers of candy that can be scooped into plastic bags.

Jelly bean vats fill an entire wall and offer numerous flavors such as buttered popcorn, cantaloupe, pomegranate, toasted marshmallow and watermelon. Hosts of other candies fill her shop including Bleeps, Jordan Almonds, Mint Cremes, Satelite Wafers, gumdrops galore, and Chocolove Milk Chocolate.

Gicala sets up candy bars and does favors for special events including showers, weddings, birthday parties and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.

"With the candy bars, I set them up prior to the event and then come and get everything afterwards," she said.

The way these generally work is there is a large assortment of candies in different containers, and guests are given a bag or box to fill with a collection of their choice. As for favors, the sky is the limit.

"I meet with the customer and we come up with creative favors," Gicala said. "One lady was having a tea-themed birthday party for her daughter, so she found antique tea cups and then I filled them with a selection of candies for the favors."

Wiggly worms fill one container while rain forest frog gummies are housed in one right next door.

"I have a lot of regular customers who come in for their favorites," Gicala said.

In addition to being a business owner on Spring Street, Gicala is also a vested member of the community focused on helping support community events and fellow businesses.

"The community support is great," she said.

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