Located in Old Kapaa Town on Kauai, this gourmet confectionery boutique is the embodiment of the phrase, “Good things come in small packages.”
With intriguing catchlines like, “the world’s smallest candy boutique in the middle of the sea” and “the smallest and most secluded sweet shop in the world,” Sweet Shop by the Sea more than lives up to its billing. It may be petite at just 100 square feet, but this family-owned candy store is positively packed with delicious delights, including artisan chocolate, handmade confections, colorful gummies, French sodas, locally made gifts, tubs of marshmallows, and more.
Husband-wife owners Albert Lopez and Ashley Johnson were inspired to open this oh-so-cool candy store in 2019 by their then-toddler daughter, Amethyst-Rae. Now six, Amethyst-Rae still plays a role in the business—including helping select the shop’s sweets, naturally!
A native of Kaapa, Lopez seeks out the very best and most interesting handmade products—both locally made and from all over the world. The result? A truly eclectic mix in which gummies imported from Europe sit side-by-side with caramel apples made collaboratively with another island sweet shop. (Lopez credits these partnerships with helping to keep business afloat during the pandemic.)
Planning a picnic, hike, or beach day? Sweet Shop by the Sea is the perfect place to stock up before you head off for the day’s adventures thanks to chocolate bars, whoopee pies, Oreo “pizza slices” and more.
And while it may seem impossible given its small size, Sweet Shop by the Sea truly has something for everyone. For example, Sjaak’s Raspberry Caramel Dark Chocolate bars aren’t just rich, chewy, and delectable, they’re also vegan and organic!
While we swooned over everything we sampled at Sweet Shop by the Sea, here’s a look at some of our favorites:
Mango Cotton Candy
The shop’s exquisite handmade organic cotton candy is one of its specialties and with good reason. While we devoured the “I Love You Like a Mango” flavor, its other offerings have included salted caramel apple cotton candy, candy corn cotton candy, bubblegum, and watermelon cotton candy—garnished with candied watermelon seeds.
Available in white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate, these waffle cone wonders capture that last, best bite of an ice cream cone. The perfect grab-and-go treat!
Bleu d’Occitanie French sodas
Ice cold and fabulously fizzy, these refreshing handcrafted sodas are available in several fun and color flavors. We can’t think of a better way to cool off than with one of these sublimely bubbly beverages!
Crème Caramel Gummies
What do you get when you combine the rich, caramelized flavor of flan or creme brulee with a gummy candy? These addictive custard treats. (The spicy chamoy gummies are equally tasty.)
But Sweet Shop by the Sea isn’t just sweets. It’s also a wonderful place for sourcing unique gifts and souvenirs, such as gorgeous jewelry from Wearable Magic. Featuring handpicked Kahelelani seashells and other authentic details, each piece is made by hand on the island.
We also fell in love with the super-sparkly Sweet Shop Sweeties stickers. And while Sweet Shop by the Sea-specific mech is limited at the moment, the owners say more is coming!
-Sweet Shop by the Sea has an active social media presence, so if you’re looking for information on anything from the store hours to the day’s specials, check its Instagram page.
-Thinking of renting bikes during your visit to Kauai? Sweet Shop by the Sea is conveniently located right next to the bike shop so make sure to stop by and stock up before or after your ride.