Sweet Pete’s — An All-Natural Candy Store
In a lovely historic neighborhood just north of Jacksonville, Florida called Springfield sits a brightly colored blue, yellow and red trim house on Pear Street. It is home to Sweet Pete’s Candy shop. This sweet shop is a favorite among the locals. But it is not just its 20th century home it runs its business out of that makes this candy shop unique but their all natural, vegan, nut free, dairy free and gluten free snacks that they offer.
Peter Behringer, who resembles a bit like Willy Wonka is the founder of Sweet Pete’s. Being raised in family who owned a candy shop called Peterbrooke Chocolatier, he knew all about the business. At the age of 12 he was waiting on customers and bagging their treats. In college, he worked as the store manager. Over time and through many promotions, Peter began to learn more and more about the candy business. Soon he was looking to set out on a venture on his own. Inspired by Dylan’s Candy Shop that he visited in New York City, he was surprised to see how much of the candy was made in China and with so much fructose corn syrup. He then decided that he wanted to bring delicious treats that were not only made in the United States but were all natural, pure and simple treats.
They have 200 different kinds of handmade chocolates and candies, 20 flavors of organic cotton candy, and some good old fashion sundaes. They truly pride themselves at providing pure and natural alternative sweets. 7.8 million people have food allergies and nearly half of them are 18 and younger. They wanted to provide delicious treats that everyone could enjoy.
Sweet Pete’s Candy Store is a whimsy Victorian home. Built in 1911, they put in about $50,000 in renovations converting this once home into a candy store. One space in the home that remained untouched was the kitchen. Though it is not a commercial kitchen, the home did come with a recently renovated kitchen with all new appliances, countertops and cabinets. It is there where Behringers makes his sweet confections one delicious batch at a time. He makes 70% of all the candy that is sold in his shop. The three story building is also available to host an event on any given day. Birthday parties, corporate events, field trips and even weddings have all taken place on the property. They also offer hands on classes where they reveal their candy making secrets! Customers can learn how they make their gluten free snacks!
To expand their business, the Sweet Pete’s is looking to start a wholesale business by bringing the gluten free snacks such as their delicious gluten free chocolate covered pretzels and their all natural lollipops and ship them all over the country. So if you are ever in Jacksonville, Florida, make sure you take a detour to Springfield to check out this lovely candy shop. Though they have numerous treats to choose at Sweet Pete’s, if you ask any local, it is their homemade sea salt caramels that are the best!