A colorful shop with a sort of “glamorous Willy Wonka” aesthetic offering new and retro candy, ice cream, desserts, chocolate and soda is opening in downtown Elgin.
Sweet shops are staples in lots of suburban downtowns and Elgin needed one, said Jennifer Cook, owner of Cook’s Sweet Boutique at 213 E. Chicago St. The shop also will sell a variety of women’s accessories, greeting cards and more.
“It’s a place where kids can spend $2 and have a feel-good treat …. but where the moms can get a funky necklace or a high-end gourmet chocolate bar,” she said.
“Everything is curated. It’s a boutique. It’s one of those shopping experiences that’s one of a kind.”
The sweet shop is opening in the space that held Delish Cakes, which closed in December. There will be an invitation-only ribbon-cutting Tuesday and a grand opening Thursday. Store hours will be 12 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Cook is the owner of Cook’s Ice Cream, consisting of an ice cream cart and ice cream truck typically booked for weddings, festivals and corporate gatherings. Most such events have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. She signed the store lease in February and had planned to open in April, but the pandemic derailed her plans. All of that has made for challenging times, she said.
“I just really wanted to get the doors open,” she said.
Cook said her store will cater to the tastes of Elgin’s varied community.
There will be sweets such as Mexican candy, retro candy like Pop Rocks and Satellite Wafers, gourmet chocolate from Ethereal Confections in Woodstock, handmade candy from Candy Club, frozen coffee beads from 40 Below Joe, and more.
The store will offer a rotating “sweet of the month” dessert starting with cupcakes from Delish Cakes, located in Bloomingdale, as well as macaroons, churros and more in the coming months, Cook said. “I’ll be working with artisan bakers around the area,” she said.
There will be ice cream in individual packages and cups, along with Mexican Coke, cherry fizz and different types of root beer, and people will be able to make their own root beer floats, she said.
The space has an upstairs outdoor back patio with seating for 14 people. Cook said her plan was to turn the place into an ice cream shop, but that’s an estimated $50,000 renovation cost, including satisfying the city’s requirements, that will have to wait, she said.
The sweet shop also will have a community board where people can post information about local events. “I want this to enrich the community,” she said.
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