What with all the ice cream scoop shops, cupcake parlors, fro-yo joints, and pie pushers popping up around town, it’s safe to say that Portland diners have an insatiable sweet tooth. Sarah Leonard hopes to add nostalgic candy store and soda fountain to that list of treats with her new Belmont sweet shop, Fizz (817 SE 34th Ave; fizzportland.com)
With an opening slated for late November, the soda and candy shop in the Belmont Dairy building will be the gathering spot for fans of egg creams, Necco Wafers, and Cheerwine looking for their sugar fix to get them through the winter.
I sat down with Leonard to get the scoop on all things bubbly and chocolate covered. Stay tuned to Eat Beat for the first photos of the shop!
1. How did you get interested in candy and soda?
I have always had a bit of a sweet tooth, and I definitely turned to candy, ice cream, and anything and everything sweet for comfort after losing my husband. My favorites are Sweet Tarts, Sugar Babies, Abba Zabba, and Big Hunk, but they’re all great.
2. Is the shop geared more towards kids or adults?
I think the kids will come for the candy and soda, and adults will come for the nostalgia, draft sodas, and the Shrine for a Portland Icon—Ramblin’ Rod Anders, host of The Ramblin’ Rod Show. We will only be one of only a few places in Portland that actually features a soda fountain. A few other places may have a fountain in their restaurant, but our fountain is going to take the center stage. We plan to have over 30 flavors of syrup for our soda and all of them will be made with real sugar—meaning no corn syrup! The sweet stuff is the star—we’re currently working on food options, but we will only offer a few.
3. Tell us a bit about the shop.
When you walk in, the soda fountain and bar is to your immediate right. There’s bar seating in the window, eight seats at the fountain bar and a couple of leather couches in the corner for lounging. We’re going to feature local art in the lounge area. On the left will be the retail area with 72 containers of bulk candies, four refrigerated coolers with hard-to-find bottled sodas, the shrine for Ramblin’ Rod, and boxes of nostalgic candy. We’ll have a gum ball machine with candy-filled gumballs and great mid-century modern decor. It’s going to be sweet.
4. What are your favorite soda concoctions?
I recently became a fan of the Egg Cream (which actually doesn’t contain cream or eggs). I also really like cream sodas (with or without an ice cream-float) and root beers. There are so many different flavors of root beer, I keep discovering more! Who would have thought a simple flavor could have so many variations!
5. If you could bring back any candy that’s gone out of production, which would it be?
Tiny Tarts. Mmmm. They are a lot like Sweet Tarts but you can eat them by the handful because they are so small.