Got a sweet tooth? Looking for a unique gift? Look no further than Center Street's newest business: Nikki's Candy Boutique. Located next to and the former Giggling Pig art studio (they've recently moved to River Road), this adorable candy shop has something for everyone, from "old school" penny candy to a hip, modern lounge room that can be rented for parties.
"We were looking to open a business, and we have two girls so we wanted to do something fun that would also contribute to the community," owner Necole Gutierrez said of the store, which she runs with her husband. "We live in Shelton so it made sense to open here."
Inside, the first thing you notice is (of course) walls and shelves stocked full of candy. Gutierrez said customer favorites tend to be the "older candies," like Zotz, wax lips, Nik-L-Nips, and Jolly Rancher sticks.
"Those are the kind of things that most stores don't carry anymore and it brings back memories for a lot of people; we want things that they can't find anywhere else," she said.
Another hit so far has been the gift-able items the store has to offer, including purses made from candy wrappers, decade boxes and various sweet themed toys.
"We also have gift cards, so you can put together a package," Gutierrez said. "Especially if you're looking for something last minute, we can stuff some candy into one of the wrapper purses or put together a bouquet and it's just something fun and different."
And if Nikki's doesn't have the type of candy you're craving, they can put in a special order with the distributor. Most recently a customer came in search of Joyva sesame crunch pieces, which the shop now has on stock. Gutierrez said it's important "to grow to have what people want."
The upstairs section of the store has been refurbished into a party room that can be rented out on Saturdays and Sundays. Decorated in a chic black and pink color scheme, it makes a great venue for birthday parties, wedding and baby showers, book clubs, or a casual ladies' night event. In such cases, Nikki's can set up a candy buffet as a unique parting gift.
"What we can do is have a consultation, talk about what kind of theme to work with and set up a buffet table as the party favor. We fill big glass apothecary jars with candy and you can take what you want and make your own bag. We also do centerpieces, which is a decoration and party favor that you can take home," Gutierrez said.
A second, "more unisex" party room is currently under construction. When completed, it will be a candy lab where kids can play with their edible creations.
"Kids can make candy monsters or play around, like putting pop rocks in soda to see it fizzle up and explode," Gutierrez said.
Nikki's Candy Boutique is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information about booking parties, stop in the store at 93 Center St., call them at (203) 513-8737, or visit their website and Facebook page.