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It’s a sweet life for new candy shop owner

Sweet! Roswell fills niche on historic Canton Street

By CANDY WAYLOCK
candy@northsidewoman.com

Inside Sweet! Roswell lies a kid’s paradise where wall-to-wall candy displays and buckets of ice cream tempt the visitor with the extreme sweet tooth. The newest addition to the heart of downtown Roswell’s shopping district is just a few steps from the rows of restaurants and retail establishments that beckon shoppers each day.

Karen Braddy opened Sweet! last October, fulfilling a dream she had to own her own business on Canton Street…and filling a niche on the street as well.

“The candy shop concept came about because I was trying to think of something that I could add to Canton Street that wasn’t already there,” said Braddy, who lives in Roswell. “We have fabulous restaurants and galleries and a great location for walking traffic. All we were missing was ice cream and candy to offer our visitors.”

The ice cream counter features flavors locally made at Greenwood of Atlanta, and the rows of Jelly Bellys, sour candies and current favorites vie for space with nostalgic sweets from years gone by. Coffee drinks and pastries offer a choice for customers looking for an alternative to candy.

Braddy lives just a mile away from her shop, and with her son attending nearby Roswell North Elementary, she loves being a part of both the shopping scene and the school community.

“I love downtown Roswell, and I particularly enjoy knowing that I am having a positive impact on the community I live in,” said Braddy, who is active in the school’s PTA and as a volunteer.  “I wanted to own a business that still allowed me to be involved in my son’s school.”

Sweet! Roswell is Braddy’s first retail venture, but she spent more than two decades developing and launching new businesses during a corporate career that ended in June with an early retirement. Her dream of owning her own business was always in the back of her mind; and was pushed to the forefront with her retirement.

“I was open for business on my birthday – just three-and-a-half months after my ‘retirement,’” she laughed.

“Upon learning that I would be changing my life’s course, many thoughts went through my mind about what I would do,” she said. “I was a little unnerved to think about the next phase. But something kept telling me that if I didn’t take a risk, I would never be able to [reach my goal] of my own business.”

Just days after she retired, she woke up with the vision for a candy shop clearly in mind. Over the course of a weekend ,she decided on a name, registered the name with the state, secured it online for a website, Facebook, Twitter and so on, wrote a business plan and a five-year investment strategy and created the “look” for Sweet! Roswell.

Next, she found and purchased the suite in the Canton Oaks Condominiums, hired a builder to finish out the shop in a historic old town feeling and hung out the shingle.

“I was open for business on my birthday – just three-and-a-half months after my ‘retirement,’” she laughed.

Braddy understands the challenges of owning a retail store in a slowly recovering economy, and faces it realistically.

“[I’m focusing on] making it through the winter slow months, planning for the spring rush and socking away enough to make it through next winter,” said Braddy. “I think by then economic issues will have settled down, the current president will be settled in and many of the issues our economy and small business face will settle down or at least have answers.”

But every day brings the realization she is living out her dream, and leaving a legacy for her young son.

“The way I look at it is I’m building a new life and a new retirement reality,” said Braddy. “And I’m building memories for all of the kids and families in and around Roswell, to carry with them through the years. We all have great memories of the corner store or the candy shop in our home towns. Sweet! Roswell will be the fond nostalgic memory for our Roswell community.”

2 Comments on “It’s a sweet life for new candy shop owner

  1. My son-in-law brought me to the shop and it’s truly a step into the past, candy shop out of my childhood! Yummy ice cream too! All you’d want in a candy shop!!

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