Candy sushi for children at Queen Anne Hill's Charley and May Companyon September 28, 2012 @ 4:30 pm (Updated: 7:03 am - 10/10/12 )
Rachel Belle came in to guest-host the Seattle Kitchen Show this week and she spoke with Lauren Formicola, owner of the Charley and May Company, who serves children candy sushi at her Queen Anne Hill gift shop.
The store, which is described as "a gift gallery celebrating modern design," has a temporary display that Lauren calls a pop-up bar, designed as a central feature of her small shop.
"I've been serving Swedish Fish as candy sushi for the past year-and-a half," says Lauren, "to little two, three, four-year-olds who will come in and say, 'Miss Lauren, Miss Lauren, can I have some sushi?' And they think it's a riot, so I just thought I'd expand it and pop up a candy bar."
She's had several other pop-up bars in the past featuring new and limited-edition items at her small shop. This summer she's had a pop-up bike bar and she's frequently set up pop-up cocktail bars.
Inspired to seek out new and exciting sweets by her candy-loving relatives, Lauren named her shop after both her grandmother and her grandfather. Her grandmother, May, owned a candy shop in south Philadelphia and took Lauren on trips to confectioners to buy candy. Her grandfather, Charley, took Lauren on special trips to a small candy shop around the corner from his house.
Much of the candies Lauren stocks in her shop are fancified gourmet updates to old classics, like rock candies, lollipops, and truffles.
Taking after her grandmother, Lauren especially likes to highlight local confectioners at her candy bar. Right now her favorite is a small batch confectioner in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood, called This Charming Candy, which makes artisanal lollipops.
Her two favorite flavors are black pepper melon and pistachio marshmallow.
"It's more marshmallow flavor than I would say pistachio, but it's fun to stick a lollipop in your mouth that's not cherry or grape," says Katie O.
Lauren also buys locally-made chocolate truffles and caramels from Lesley's Gourmet in Bellevue. Lesley creates artistic and delicious Seattle-made candies from imported French chocolate.
"I think they're gorgeous," says Katie. "I mean, a lot of them tend to have what looks like a lot of different salts on top, which is really kind of the hot thing right now."
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