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Candy store brings sweets and treats to downtown Port Coquitlam

"A sweet little shop" has just opened in downtown Port Coquitlam, bringing traditional treats and the latest trendy candy to those with a sweet tooth.
Catherine Polonio and Lisa Nadalin have just opened PoCo Sweet Shop in downtown Port Coquitlam.

A new candy store has opened in downtown Port Coquitlam, bringing some adorable charm to the city's growing residential and retail neighbourhood.

PoCo Sweet Shop, located at 2232 McAllister Ave. (Suite C), is the newest business to enliven the recently upgraded, pedestrian-focused street.

Owned by business partners Catherine Polonio and Lisa Nadalin, PoCo Sweet Shop is a brick-and-mortar addition to a successful online business.

The two longtime members of the PoCo BIA are excited to open a candy store in an area they expect to be an up-and-coming destination because of city upgrades, such as the new Veterans Park, a Leigh Square refresh and the Donald Pathway extension.

"We were very particular about where we wanted to be," said Polonio, who also owns Coquitlam Florist.

Polonio and Nadalin told the Tri-City News they thought the city needed a candy store and embarked on the venture, opening the shop in time for Easter after two years of running a successful online candy and gift business.

It took time for the business partners to find a location and they found a good one: Across the street from The Met, a residential and retail development by Quarry Rock Developments that is under construction.

"We just kind of held out," said Nadalin. "We wanted to be in the heart of the city and McAllister was the place to be."

Since opening, customers have already found the new store, even though the grand opening won't be until after Port Coquitlam's 100th May Days.

Both well known in PoCo — thanks to volunteering, sponsorship and working with the PoCo BIA — Polonio and Nadalin said they hope to create a destination, where families would come while out for a stroll.

What visitors to PoCo Sweet Shop will find is a wide selection of goodies: old-fashioned treats, such as caramel popcorn by anDea, several flavours of candy sticks and lollipops as well as current faves such as Slaps and Planet Gummis.

There is also a wide range of made-in-Canada chocolate — including giant peanut butter cups — and specialty imports, such as a U.K. brand of squishy Skittles and Turkish Fruit Loop candies.

PoCo Sweet Shop sells sugar-free treats, too, including a selection of barks and brittle by Sugar Free Please.

New candy selections are posted on Instagram while a wide selection of candies and gifts can be ordered through the online store,

PoCo Sweet Shop also does gift bags and corporate events.

But anyone who visits the PoCo Sweet Shop on McAllister Avenue will feel like they have stepped back in time, when everyone knew the butcher, the baker and the grocery store owner.

Polonio and Nadalin said that is the feeling they want to create and they welcome families to come downtown and see for themselves what a walkable shopping destination the area has become.

"We want everyone to come in and see and enjoy the feeling you have when you enter a candy store," said Nadalin. 

"We're just a sweet little shop downtown."