Carol's Quality Sweets
By YP Contributor

Chocolate the Way it’s Supposed to Taste

You might think that a store called Carol’s Quality Sweets sells candy, and you’d be right. But that’s only part of the equation.

From the minute you walk into her small, candy-coloured store, the unmistakable aroma of sweetness greets you. But that’s not all that’s in the air, or on the shelves.

As owner Carol Logan says (smiling sweetly, of course), “We sell memories.”

Carol grew up in Edmonton, and fell in love with candy thanks to regular visits to an old city store called The Palace of Sweets. As an adult, she and her husband Grant made chocolate and fudge as a hobby. Their real chocolate treats were a hit at various craft fairs, so they decided to go full-time into the sweets business. Carol’s Quality Sweets opened its original Whyte Avenue location in 1990 “with two cabinets of chocolates, six jars of candy, coffee and pastry.”

You can get coffee and pastry anywhere, but it’s not easy to find chocolates made with real, pure Belgium chocolate, so they went all-in on the chocolates and candy. But on March 13, 2003, a fire destroyed the store, wiping out everything but half of a cookbook.

Undaunted, by October they had re-established the business at their 1,000 sq. ft. High Street location. Chocolate making is done at a separate factory run by Grant, a trained chocolatier who uses his own recipes, utilizing only chocolate from Belgium and flavours from France or Italy. The result is chocolate unlike anything most of us are accustomed to. “Our chocolates are not the North American grainy, creamy, sugary centres. They’re very, very smooth,” says Carol.

We sell memories. - Carol Logan, owner
Carol’s Quality Sweets - Pure chocolate, British candy, soap candy
Owner Carol Logan got a taste for the sweet life as a child.

British Candy in Abundance

If customers aren’t coming in for the chocolates, they’re coming in for the vast array of sweets from all around the world. Carol estimates the store has more than a thousand products from at least 20 countries.

British candy takes up a quarter of the store’s shelf space; behind the main counter you’ll find an entire wall of candy imported from Britain. The Brits have a national sweet tooth, and Carol says “they make it right. They use real ingredients, few preservatives, natural colours, real chocolates … it really shows in their products.”

The Americans are well represented, with a selection of goodies like Clark Bars and Charleston Chews that you can’t find elsewhere. And, of course, we can’t ignore our home and native land; Carol’s carries Gagnon candies and chocolates, items like chicken bones and jelly beans. And speaking of jelly beans, no self-respecting candy store would be complete without Jelly Belly - 36 flavours in total.

Carol’s Quality Sweets - Pure chocolate, British candy, soap candy
Carol’s Quality Sweets is a riot of multi-coloured candy.

Licorice, Soap and Other Acquired Tastes

You can find candy in bulk at Carol’s (she has 40 different kinds of licorice alone). It’s where you’ll find Carol’s top seller, the very distinctive and very British ‘soap’ candy, or floral gums, so-called because they smell and taste like flowered soap. (It tastes better than it sounds.)

If you’ve got a taste for the sour, Carol’s Quality Sweets has multiple degrees of sour candy — and if you think you know sour candy, be prepared for a mouth puckering experience with European sour candy. Dieters and the health conscious need not avoid Carol’s, as there are also gluten-free and sugar-free candies.

Much of what Carol’s stocks came from customer suggestions. “We’re here to satisfy our customers,” she says. “I don’t like to like it, I don’t have to love it, I just have to have it here for my customers.”

Carol’s Quality Sweets - Pure chocolate, British candy, soap candy
Carols' Quality Sweets is located in the High Street shopping area in the west end.
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