(Marie writes again… having taken a quick weekend jaunt back down to the coast, she took the camera to snap a couple of pictures of a new favorite on Mallery Street.)
St. Simons Sweets is the latest store to make an attempt at the sweet-toothed segment of the tourist crowd in the Pier area of what St. Simons residents call “The Village.” I am not sure why so many have come and gone, as a candy-and-ice cream shop seems a sure bet in any tourist area, but this is by far the best organized and busiest of them.
The earliest one, where I spent my allowance money as a kid, was primarily an ice cream shop with a handful of Jelly Belly flavors and a jar of gummy worms for those who didn’t want anything cold. When that left, the Woolworth that was still in the Pier area then was the only place that sold candy, but they didn’t have anything that wasn’t sold in a wrapper so they didn’t compete very well with the Jiffy stores further into the island. Some rather desperately long time after the departure of the Woolworth came a coffee shop that couldn’t quite make up its mind whether to concentrate on the ice cream, the candy, or the hot drinks. They had good stuff including fudge, but it was never very busy, and only caffeine junkies as bad as my sister could stand to have a coffee at midday in tourist season.
With St. Simons Sweets, the ice cream is in the back, so you have to pass by tempting displays behind glass to get to the cold stuff that was probably what tempts most of the passers-by through the doors. On the right as you go in there is a display of fudge, with jars of huge cookies above. After that is a few shelves of glass jars containing candy store usuals like gummy whatevers and Swedish fish. You’ll see my name mostly spelled in gummy letters in the picture. The R looks a little funny because I had to mangle a B to get to it.
After that is another glass case full of things like chocolate-dipped Oreos, pretzels, etc., and some more jars of candy by the pound. It’s good to have the option of getting a little of this and a little of that, even if all gummy candy is essentially the same, and the there is apparently enough turnover to keep everything very fresh.
There are a few tables where you can eat your ice cream or other treats inside. In the back near the ice cream they have large baskets full of things like flavored gum balls with the store logo on them, and some standard candy like Pixie Stix and Jelly Bellies in bags. In fact, about all this store lacks is a serve-your-own flavor Jelly Belly wall, but I am not sure exactly how they’d be able to fit it in without taking out some of the tables. And considering how warm and humid it generally is in the Village area, any store with air conditioning is probably going to make some of their sales to people who really just want to rent a chair inside for a few minutes.
I heard about this place from my Dad, who is not exactly the candy hog that I am. He introduced the topic by asking whether I’d tried the raspberry fudge. Of course I hadn’t, so we had to make a special trip to check it out, and I was really pleased with the results. This was my fourth visit, and my first buying only for myself. It appears they have some regular flavors and some that cycle through and raspberry is one of the peripatetic varieties. This time the option I hadn’t seen before was key lime, and it is very intense indeed. The fudge is really the best thing the shop carries, in my opinion. It is rich, creamy, and intense. However, the cinnamon ice cream is also really good. The teenagers behind the counter may be slightly math challenged, but they appear to enjoy their jobs and they smile at the customers.