Chow Bella

Smeeks: New Candy Shop Coming to CenPho

"Why doesn't somebody open a _____ in Central Phoenix?"

Fill in that blank for any kind of stylish indie business (especially anything food- and beverage-related), and I've wondered it aloud. For all the interesting things going on in CenPho these days, there's still room for plenty more.

Literally a day after I had a conversation about why somebody needs to open a cool candy boutique, I heard a rumor that somebody really is. It's called Smeeks

And get this: It's from Georganne Bryant, owner of Frances. In case you haven't been to Frances, rest assured that it's one of the hippest places to shop for unique women's clothing, jewelry, and all kinds of cute gifty doodads. My "Love Phoenix or Leave Phoenix" T-shirt is one of Bryant's original creations.

Smeeks was Bryant's childhood nickname, and fittingly, the store will feature tons of retro candies -- everything from penny candies to Pez.

"It'll be like a little getaway," Bryant says, describing the whimsical atmosphere that will feature red and white striped awnings for a nostalgic feel.

And it won't be like the Sweet Factory, Bryant adds. She plans on keeping the merch limited to packaged candies, as well as gift items and party favors. Customers will be able to take treats home in red Chinese takeout containers.

"A three-year-old will love it, a 70-year-old will love it," she says.

Smeeks will be located at 14 W. Camelback Road, right alongside Red Hot Robot, Stinkweeds, and (of course) Frances. Bryant hopes to open in July, perhaps as soon as the 4th.

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Michele Laudig
Contact: Michele Laudig