Doc Sweets’ Candy Company is Michigan’s largest retail candy store and they have the stock to prove it. Familiar favorites like Sanders and Wonka sit alongside old-time classics like Zagnut and Jujubes. A seemingly-endless row of brightly-colored Jelly Belly dispensers line the store’s north wall, and the cheeky faces of Pez dispensers look out over the shop from a lofty perch. With all of the offerings, deciding what treat to pick can make one feel like…a kid in a candy shop.
“I love it when people come in and are just amazed by candy that they haven’t seen before or candy that they haven’t seen in years,” Jennifer Boughton, a Doc Sweets’ manager and eight-year veteran of the candy trade, told us last spring. “A lot of older customers will come in and say: ‘I haven’t had this since I was a little girl.”
When asked about her favorite, even Boughton hesitated to name just one.
“I have a lot of favorites. My probably all-time favorites are the Chocolove chocolate bars, which are made in Colorado and they’re in all different flavors…I also like Australian Licorice and Kiwi Jelly Beans — those are my weaknesses.”
What is Doc Sweets’ most unusual treat?
“Bugs. Definitely the bugs,” Boughton said.
That’s right, if you’re feeling adventurous, Doc Sweets’ carries real bugs, which are farm-raised and seasoned like potato chips.
“I have tried them in the name of research. They’re not too bad. It’s hard to get over the idea of ‘I am eating a bug,’ though,” she said. “A surprising number of people actually purchase them.”
In addition to their in-shop candy business, Doc Sweets’ does weddings, parties, corporate events, and online purchases.
For Boughton, the personal connections made through event planning are a particularly sweet part of the job.
“The very first customer that I helped put a wedding together for came in a year later and showed me pictures of everything. She was so happy; she brought her husband with her to look around and she remembered my name, I remembered her,” she said. “It was really nice to see how much candy – which is not a huge part of things normally – to see how it made her wedding.”
Hours and Location
Address: 135 N. Rochester Road; Clawson, Michigan
Hours: 10 AM – 7 PM Monday – Saturday, 11 AM – 4 PM Sunday