Barb Marquardt holds the sign that, for eight years, reminded parents to be mindful of their children in the Sweet Delights Candy Store in Oak Bay. The store opens for the last time on Friday. (Travis Paterson/News Staff) Barb Marquardt holds the sign that, for eight years, reminded parents to be mindful of their children in the Sweet Delights Candy Store in Oak Bay. The store opens for the last time on Friday. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay’s only candy shop closing for good on Friday

Sweet Delights Candy Store going out of business

Since owners Barb and Ken Marquardt posted a notice on the door of their shop that Sweet Delights Candy Store would be closing permanently, they’ve sold candy at a rate that would have kept the shop in business.

It’s a bittersweet irony that’s not lost on Barb Marquardt, though she is only grateful for the shop’s eight-year run.

The Sweet Delights Candy Store on the corner of Hampshire Road and Oak Bay Avenue will close its doors for the last time on Friday (Feb. 21).

ALSO READ: End of an era as Buddies Toys leaves Oak Bay Avenue

The ‘thank yous’ have been plentiful. The store has seen a steady stream of customers sharing their praise and non-customers who appreciated the effort of a small business on Oak Bay Avenue.

“We loved what we did and we’re happy to end on a high note,” Marquardt said. “My husband is 65. He’s been working since he was nine years old. It’s been a joy.”

“There’s nothing left,” Marquardt said. “We never even put the candy on sale. People just showed up and bought it all, stocking up on their favourites.”

Everything in the store is for sale. On Tuesday a man purchased the security mirror for $10. The racks, the wall hangers and display cases are also for sale. What doesn’t sell by Friday will likely show up at the Giant Rummage Sale in Monterey Recreation Centre on Feb. 29, Marquardt said.

The idea started 12 years ago when the Marquardts relocated to Victoria from Alberta. At the end of their daughter’s first school year they wanted to continue a tradition of purchasing a candy bouquet that all the teachers at the school could share.

They searched, but found no one in Greater Victoria who knew what a candy bouquet was, let alone how to make them. So they found a candy bouquet-making franchise online and started making candy bouquets in their basement. It was successful enough they started a kiosk in Hillside shopping centre.

“Slowly, we started adding nostalgic candy brands that we remembered, and people liked it,” Marquardt said.

After three years as a mall kiosk it was successful enough they gambled on a storefront.

“We wanted a space big enough and accessible enough that anyone with a wheelchair or mobility issues [could stop by],” Marquardt said. “Some of the candies people are coming for are selling for 25 cents each and we’re making five cents on that. That’s why you see candy stores that are packed with a lot of [inventory] in a small space.”

In Oak Bay, vegan candy became one of their staples.

“Vegan and gluten free,” Marquardt said. “We did the work to make sure we had safe products for people who suffer allergies, and because of it we had regulars.”

ALSO READ: BFF (best furry friend) night at Sweet Delight

The only candy left in the store are hard-shell penny candies flavoured with cinnamon and ouzo, though there is still a collection of vintage Pez dispensers. There’s also the store sign which served as a gentle reminder to parents to keep an eye on their kids in the candy store.

“This sign, seriously [pictured],” Marquardt said. “So many people asked me about it when we were open. We had offers on it. I said it’s not for sale.”

Thinking it was in demand, Marquardt stuck a $20 price tag on it but, as of Tuesday afternoon, no one had taken it home. Friday is the last chance.

The Sweet Delights Candy Store is in suite 113 at 2187 Oak Bay Ave. until Friday.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Sooke Bluffs staircase closed due to rot

District to consider replacement for ‘high risk’ staircase in fall

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read