Old English Sweet Shop on the move

Leaves Yates Street for new Douglas Street location

Wendy Beach

Wendy Beach has only owned the English Sweet Shop for six of its 101-year history, but she wells up with tears at the loss of its long-time location at 738 Yates St.

“People come in and they’re bringing their great grandchildren, and they’re like, ‘It’s just the same as I remember it when I was a kid when my grandfather brought me here,” recalls Beach.

Today, the store is empty in preparation of the property’s redevelopment by Concert Properties.

“It was long and narrow … the floor boards were creaky and there was a beautiful mosaic tile,” she says. “I hope to one day recreate it.”

A delayed phone hookup and other snags have delayed the grand opening of the new shop at 736 Douglas St.

Standing amid 600 stacked candy jars and shelving in various stages of construction, Beach acknowledges the new location has its challenges..

Some neighbouring retail properties, adjoining the Victoria Conference Centre, stand empty.

“The terms and conditions of the lease were very favourable,” Beach says, adding that to help drive customer traffic, the City of Victoria plans to relax regulations surrounding signage and logos on store fronts.

Beach, who also owns the British Candy Shoppe, got into the business on a whim after being laid off from the B.C. government.

“It’s my husband and my sweet retirement, that’s what we call it.”

Her favourite sweets, which also happen to be her best seller, are the Bon Bons.

Grocery items, such as Marmite, are popular among expats, and the old timers like the Trebor Extra Strong Mints or the Sherbet Lemons.

“We have so many regular customers,” Beach says. “There are people who come in every day and buy 100 grams of school chalk, or they come in an they buy their mint hum bugs.”

rholmen@vicnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two causes to be heard on legislature lawn during B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrations from forestry workers and Extinction Rebellion planned

Migration drives Greater Victoria’s population growth

Region surpasses 400,000 population despite seeing more deaths than births

Oak Bay looks into boulevard gardens

Legalizing boulevard gardening among working group ideas

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission criticizes Central Saanich over committee demise

PAAC also calls on municipality to revive ag committee disbanded earlier

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read