A sweeter downtown: St. Joseph candy shop opens after Halloween

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Christania Waggoner has a sweet tooth and wants to share it with the world.

Waggoner opened her new candy shop in downtown St. Joseph, known as Sweet Dreams, on the Thursday before Halloween.

By no surprise to Waggoner, the shop at 505 Pleasant St. did really well.

“The baked goods were the big seller,” Waggoner said. “Kids came in and wanted the candy. The older crowd came in looking for specific goods.”

Sweet Dreams is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Waggoner said it was important to her to remain open on the weekend.

In addition to popular candies sold in convenience stores, Sweet Dreams will sell four-inch high cupcakes filled with frosting. Waggoner said the plan is to begin selling caramel and cheese corn made in house.

“I bake out of Benton Harbor and it is all custom orders,” Waggoner said. “Other than my gourmet cupcakes I make mini pies. I’m most known for my homemade dinner rolls.”

Waggoner used to work at Ray’s on the Green, a restaurant located at Berrien Hills Golf Club. When she left, Waggoner said it was nice to see people follow her food.

“I’ve been baking for more than 20 years,” she said. “However, I didn’t go commercial until two years ago.”

The opportunity arose for Waggoner when she was approached to join Ray’s on the Green. She decided to leave her job at Michiana Land Services.

“My husband was very supportive and told me to give a 100 percent because I would never know if it was going to work,” Waggoner said. “So, I quit my job where I was making money. I took a chance.”

It’s proved to be a lot of work. On the average day, Waggoner leaves at 6:15 a.m. and doesn’t get home until 8 p.m.

“The space was offered to me and I was hesitant at first, because this is a lot of work,” Waggoner said. “Unless you have the right staff, you have to be here. I don’t want people baking because it has my name on it.”

Waggoner has been working on renovating the space and bringing everything in since May. Through the last six months, she said she’s been itching to open the doors watching people walk by.

Other than the dozens of candies offered that range from taffy to chocolate, Waggoner offers nostalgic soda as well.

With winter on the horizon, she plans on making her own hot chocolate and packaging it with peppermint sticks.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Nov. 8, 2015)

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