Karameller Candy Shop Inc
By Michelle Hopkins

A Swedish Sweet Tooth

Louise Schonberg has had a sweet tooth ever since she can remember. “Growing up in Sweden, candy is a cultural thing…we love it,” says the self-professed candyholic. “Every Saturday, I took my $5 allowance money to the neighbourhood candy shop and spent it all.”

Louise isn’t kidding. Swedes are said to consume more candy per capita than residents of any other country in the world. According to statistics, to the tune of 17 kilograms of candy per person, per year.

Louise immigrated to Canada in 2003 and began hunting down one of her "favourite food sources.” Much to her dismay, she couldn't find a local Vancouver sweet shop to replicate her Saturday morning ritual. “My mom would send me candy (from Sweden) on all the special occasions or whenever I craved some,” she recalls.

In July 2015, Louise, along with her husband and business partner Luis Giraldo, decided to open Yaletown's Karameller Candy Shop, a specialty shop carrying exclusively high-quality Scandinavian candy.

“In Swedish, karameller actually means hard candy,” she says. “What makes our candy taste so good is that there are no GMOs, no trans fat, no high-fructose corn syrup and most of the colouring is natural.”

What makes our candy taste so good is that there are no GMOs, no trans fat, no high-fructose corn syrup and most of the colouring is natural. - Louise Schonberg, owner
Owner Louise Schonberg opened her Yaletown candy shop in July 2015 along with her husband and business partner Luis Giraldo.
Owner Louise Schonberg opened her Yaletown candy shop in July 2015 along with her husband and business partner Luis Giraldo. Photo courtesy of Karameller

Eye Candy

A sleek shop with a minimalist, Scandinavian design,  Karameller gives new meaning to the words eye candy. Along the wall are dozens of bins stacked with brightly coloured Scandinavian candies in whimsical shapes and designs.  It’s a fantasy come true for locals and visitors alike who are afflicted with an acute sweet tooth.

Karameller carries a selection of about 100 different types of bonbons, all imported directly from Scandinavia. Bins are filled with milk chocolate, licorice, gummy animals, marshmallows, jelly beans, sour lips and just about anything fruity, sweet or sour that you can imagine or crave.

Some sweets seem to literally fly out of bins. First and foremost, says Louise, is the licorice; all 14 different types sell extremely well (a notable mention goes out to the octo-salt licorice).

Other popular picks include the Rainbow Rolls, Rambo Twists, Swedish Fish and the ever-trendy Social Sayings. “The social candies really sell out fast during Valentine’s Day because they feature sayings such as LOL, Love, Selfie, XOXO and OMG,” Louise adds. “They really appeal to the millennial crowd.”

Karameller carries a selection of about 100 different types of high quality sweets imported directly from Scandinavia.
Karameller carries a selection of about 100 different types of high-quality sweets imported directly from Scandinavia. Photo credit: Azaria Chavira Photography

Pick and Mix

Karmeller's high-quality rainbow-coloured candies look just as good as they taste, making them an excellent choice for hostess gifts and photo-ready candy bars at a special events. Customers can choose to pick and mix their own assorted goodie bags by the scoop or purchase pre-packaged boxes or refillable jars. “We also take a lot for orders for weddings, corporate events and realtor thank you gift boxes,” Louise explains. “We even customize goodie bags for birthday parties.”

For some customers, picking up a sweet treat at Karameller has become a weekly indulgence. “I have a family that comes in every Friday," Louise says. "They are four of the politest children I’ve ever seen. Each lines up, waits their turn to pick their candy and then they weight it themselves...they're so adorable!”

Whether you have a special occasion, need a 4:00 pm pick-me-up, or you're starting your own Saturday morning candy ritual, Karameller will satisfy any sugar craving. “This isn’t just a kids candy store, this is an adults' candy store too,” Louise quips. “If you are going to indulge in sugar, I always say eat selectively so you can really taste the difference.”

Refillable jars stocked with colourful candies make for excellent hostess gifts.
Refillable jars stocked with colourful candies make for excellent hostess gifts. Photo courtesy of Karameller
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