BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN ONE SWEET TOOTH IN MY HEAD, IT QUICKLY CAME TO MY ATTENTION WHEN A NEW PROPRIETOR OF TASTY TREATS CAME TO TOWN. I CAUGHT UP WITH BRANDT ARCHER OF SWEET TRADITIONS IN THE JUNCTION TO DISCUSS WHAT WE BOTH LOVE AND WHAT I SHOULD TRY NEXT...
BY RYAN WILLIAMS
What’s the difference between Sweet Traditions and the lollies you can buy from the supermarket?
At Sweet Traditions we source unique snacks, drinks and lollies from the UK, USA and NZ that you can’t find in the supermarkets. You’ll find brands such as Dr Pepper, Faygo, Quavers and Hershey in our store. We listen to our customers and try our hardest to source all sorts of unique products they may have seen online, mentioned in TV shows or movies or that they have seen while visiting that country. We have Pop Tarts in flavours you can’t find in the supermarket...as well as Hershey Bars, Peanut Butter Cups, Dr Pepper drinks, Mexican Coke, Root Beer and UK crisps.
We currently stock about 700 lines and our premises is small but chock full with products.
We also have a wide range of UK sweets as well as the more traditional Aussie favorites like musk sticks, bananas, mint leaves and honey bears as well as Gob Stoppers, lollipops and a whole range of sour lollies.
Most of our customers are regulars who know they can source certain things just from us that they can’t get in the supermarket.
What brought you into the business of lollies?
I’ve been a regular at Sweet Traditions for some time so I was very familiar with the shop and the products they specialize in but owning the store was not on my radar (or my family’s) at all just a few months ago. I chanced upon a Facebook post from the former owner who was looking to sell. Things happened fast and the next minute, my parents and I have purchased the business and our family is the proud new owner of Sweet Traditions.
It looked like a brilliant opportunity for us all to do something different and challenging and it looked like such a fun and happy place to own.
I’ve noticed you stock a lot of hot sauces too, one called the “Ass Blaster”. Do you try all of these? What’s the hottest?
We try to get as many different kinds as possible to offer a wide selection to our customers. I have tried quite a few and am slowly working my way through them all.
The ass blaster is a funny one - I ordered one in to see what people thought and it sold straight away! Since then I have had several other people order it as well.
The hottest we have in store at the moment is called Da bomb 'ground zero' and comes in at a mighty 300 000 schoviles (measurement of spicy heat) which is pretty impressive. I originally tried it when Tegan my partner brought it back from San Diego in January and it hit me for six haha.
Da bomb also make one called 'the final answer' which comes in at 1 500 000 schoviles which is incredible. It comes in a locked box and carries a very strict warning. It can be ordered through us depending on availability and is for very serious lovers of chili.
What are some of your favorite sweets that you stock in store?
That’s a tough question because there is such a broad range of products. I do love sherbet filled UFOs and Wizz Fizz and have been having fun tasting some of the brands I wasn’t familiar with such as the Pop Tarts, sauces and Kool Aid.
Everyone has their favorites though and my mum for instance can’t go past Sherbies, spearmint leaves and mint patties, dad is a big fan of the coconut ice, my partner Tegan loves flavored cable and Pink lady raspberry bullets, my sister loves yogurt tubes and my brother is a big lover of our Mega sour balls.
What’s the future looking like for Sweet Traditions?
Trying to avoid the obvious saying, but the future is looking pretty sweet for us at Sweet Traditions. Mel, the previous owner has built a fantastic business over the past seven years and we are thrilled to take over the reins now and continue growing the brand.
We have lots of plans and can see lots of different opportunities for Sweet Traditions. This is truly a family run business with all of my family involved in various roles and it’s proving to be a great project for us all. We have had a steep learning curve in the world of confectionery over the past few weeks but the store has been so busy which has been fantastic and everyone has been so supportive of us.
We are focusing on building our social media presence as well as broadening our product range and bringing even more unusual and hard to source products to our store. There’s plans for a new website to allow us to sell our products online and reach an even larger audience and lots of exciting things in store for Sweet Traditions - The Lolly Shop At The Junction.