Powell's Sweet Shoppe prepares to delight Berkeley

November 18, 2010 7:16:59 PM PST
Despite all of the economic gloom and doom, there is a sweet spot in the Bay Area that bucks the trend. A new candy store is helping buoy a sagging business community.

There is so much in the new Berkeley Powell's Sweet Shoppe, you have to slow down to study the shelves. It's a business recipe of equal parts sugar and nostalgia.

"When you walk into a Powell's, you will find every candy you had as a kid," co-owner Shahrazad Junblat said.

This is Junblat's second franchise. She and her brother Nabil Nissen opened a Lafayette store in 2007and spent the last two years searching for their newest location.

"We don't really sell candy. We sell dreams, we sell memories, we sell smiles," Nissen said.

Nostagia means nothing to 3-year-old Julian Porter, but it will someday. Cheryl Richards found an old friend from Saturday night live.

"I'm amazed that Mr. Bill hasn't been in the freezer for the last 30 years," she said.

The Rockridge District Association says the last two years have been the hardest in memory, but now empty store fronts are filling up. Rockridge Market Hall owner Sara Wilson is guardedly optimistic.

"I would say if we can hold our own, I think most of us will be happy with that. In other words, I don't think it's going to be a spectacular Christmas or holiday season, but I think it will certainly be as good as last year or a little better," she said.

The new Powell's is one of 18 across the west, the first opened in Windsor in 2003. The grand opening is Saturday.


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