Cape & Islands candy shops

Sweet Inspirations, Nantucket

The only thing better than a candy shop is a candy shop on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. Some shops have been staples of the community for as long as most residents and visitors can remember. With decades of experience in sweet flavors, bright colors and endless amounts of fun, these long-standing candy shops bring joy to all ages.

Owner of Sweet Inspirations on Nantucket, John West cherishes creativity when it comes to the art of chocolate making. Having owned and operated the shop since 1981 with his wife Kathy, “being inspired by our customers and being inspired by Nantucket itself” is what West says drives their vision. “People are looking for a remembrance of Nantucket, something different, that is maybe this wonderful thing called chocolate.”

The shop creates a full experience, one that is, as West puts it, “reflecting a bygone era.” Customers can watch the chocolate treats being made just behind the counter. Even from the window of the shop, “you’re seeing caramel being poured and piped and chocolate being ladled and dipped,” he says.

At Ghelfi’s Candies of Cape Cod in Falmouth, owner Scott Ghelfi places customer service above all. “Everyone that comes in here we go above and beyond for,” he says. Offering a wide variety of treats, Ghelfi creates an experience where “a family can come in, the kids can grab a bag and fill it with their favorites while the parents can choose from a large selection of homemade chocolates and fudges.”

Having owned the shop for 30 years, Ghelfi says that it is the gradual forming of close bonds amongst his staff that makes his job most rewarding. Over the years, he has been able to see generations of families grow through his business. “One of the girls that works for me now, her mother worked for me years ago,” he says. “I feel like an uncle to her.” On top of this, the shop has brought his family closer together, as his wife, children, siblings and parents have all pitched in at some point, joining the candy-making effort.

A tried-and-true tradition in the town of Chatham, the Chatham Candy Manor has been crafting freshly made confections with the finest ingredients for over 60 years. Founded in 1955 by Naomi Louise Turner, this community-centric shop boasts a loyal, team-focused staff. Employees enjoy working together to create treats such as hand-dipped chocolates, homemade fudge and all the centers for the chocolates. “We really pride ourselves on having a good time. We have a phenomenal group of people that have returned year after year,” says manager Sue Carroll, who has been with the shop for 40 years. Carroll has even heard customers frequently comment about how much fun it is to come into the shop.

Continuing to put smiles on customers’ faces, the shop strives “to keep everybody happy and to put out a high-quality product,” Carroll says. Overall, Carroll puts it best: “Everybody loves candy!”

Elizabeth Burke is an intern for Cape Cod Life Publications.