SugarBuzz is the newest place for dessert
January 30, 2009
Sit down inside Old Town’s newest candy store and you’ll hear nearly every customer come in say, "Hey, look at this!"
The inspiration for SugarBuzz at 651 Park Avenue was Mrs. Knowlton’s penny-candy store that owner Leslie Butler frequented as a child.
Her parents would give her a nickel, and she’d stare at the glass cases and jars pondering what she wanted. Kids come into SugarBuzz fresh off the ski slopes with a dollar in hand to do the exact same thing.
Nostalgia is a big part of what SugarBuzz is about. More fun than watching the children clutching their dollar is seeing the parents, she said. With Cowtails, Bottle caps and bubblegum cigarettes, Butler’s goal was to recreate the candy stores of yore.
She carries 450 varieties of treats from little pieces of hard candy to locally-made V Chocolates. Memorable favorites include Idaho Spuds, wax lips and Lindt Excellence chocolate bars. Only open since the Jan. 2, she’s already had people come in and buy her out of something they hadn’t seen for a long time, like chocolate liqueur candies.
Once, during the Sundance Film Festival, someone came in during the middle of the day and told her they needed her help catering a party that night at 5 p.m., said employee Banner Aten.
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Actually, Butler and her daughter and co-owner Jennifer Butler did three parties during Sundance. One just wanted her unique giant glass jars.
Aten is also the store’s barista serving Illy coffee. She actually met the Butlers through an Illy representative. Picky about her coffee, Aten only drinks one other brand besides Illy period.
On a slow Wednesday morning, Tom Slater, a local bouncer, came in for a coffee because a co-worker at Davanza’s told him it was great.
"That is good," he said after trying the brand for the first time.
Trying to come up with something that would go well with coffee and candy, the Butlers decided to carry gourmet cupcakes from Leslie Fiet’s Mini’s in Salt Lake City.
"Someone joked we should be called Three C’s: coffee, candy and cupcakes," Butler joked.
Part of the challenge of choosing the right kind of beverage, treats and baked goods was giving the Park City community something it would appreciate but didn’t already have, she said. She isn’t trying to be another candy or coffee shop in Old Town, she wanted to create something truly unique.
"I want to make everything fun and whimsical. A little boy walked in the other day and asked if Willie Wonka lived here," she said.
A friend pointed out that there are few places in Park City appropriate for a children’s birthday party, so she created a room in her store for parties. Someone even asked her about setting up Bridge games inside. When not used as party-central, it’s a quiet corner for sipping coffee.
Butler sells books and cards that she thinks are fun. Continuing with the nostalgia theme, she displays greeting cards and vintage children’s books from Laughing Elephant.
"I love the illustrations," she said. "There’s no serious stuff in here."
The building used to house Bad Ass Coffee and then was storage for construction crews until she rented it. It took a lot of cleaning and remodeling, but Butler jokes the "house is much happier now." The landlord installed a ramp to the side door for wheelchairs and strollers.
SugarBuzz Candy Boutique
651 Park Avenue