So, as you know I’ve been raving about this amazing sweet shop I discovered whilst on my lunch break and finally I get to tell you all about it. I always like stumbling across new and interesting places but nothing prepared me for this. Remember rhubarb and custard, pear drops and cola cubes from your old skool sweet shop – well look no further than Sugar Sin. Yep, my eyes were glazed like an interior designer in a sweet shop, full of sugary sorbet colours. I knew I had to share this hidden treasure so I got talking to Josefin and Anna, the Director of Sugar Sin. This space definitely speaks volumes! I love the black and white liquorice striped floor – very Alice in wonderful and its clear jars of all sizes encasing sherbets, gum drops and apple fizzing flying carpets. The special touch for me was the little hot air balloon which, for me gives it a little whimsical feel.
HOP: So tell us a bit about yourself, how did Sugar Sin evolve and what is your background
SS: We’re two Swedish sisters with a crazy appetite for sugary treats. Growing up with the Swedish sweets culture, which is built on pick n mix, we are used to finding a huge selection of pick n mix in every shop (Swedes are the world’s biggest consumers of assorted sweets). All too often, our house became a battle field when we fought over our favourite sweets. When moving to London about five years ago to study, we quickly realised that we couldn’t find the same selection of sweets and pick n mix as we were used to back home. Every time we went back to visit we stocked our suitcases full of sweets (even checked in extra luggage to get enough room for the goodies). After graduation we decided to do something about it and decided to set up our own sweet shop where we could share our love for sweets with Londoners. However, this was the summer in 2009 so it took a long time to turn it into reality. Our background is retail and marketing – although not directly related to confectionery we’ve always wanted to start our own business.
HOP: How did you come up with the concept, both for the shop interior and design
SS: We wanted to offer Londoners a sweet paradise, where they could come and explore different taste sensations all under one roof. At the same time, we wanted to lighten up the whole health fixation and turn sweets into something fun, put a smile on peoples faces and brighten up their day…especially the grown ups! The whole idea of Sugar Sin is to offer high quality products unobtainable in other confectionaries.
In terms of the shop design, we wanted to create a contemporary yet nostalgic place that allowed you to take a break from your everyday life – a combination of modern life, fantasies, and our childhood memories. We wanted to explore the contrasts of black and white (which, for us, can symbolise both a contemporary yet classic approach), and combine these with bright colours. This also applied to our choice of materials where we, for instance have worked with tiles, timber, and plaster walls. We wanted to ensure that we created a place that was eye-catching, extremely inviting & warm yet captured the essence of the our brand identity (a magical wonderworld).
HOP: How did you choose the colour scheme
SS: We absolutely adore colour however, since quality is very important to us (we almost only stock sweets with natural colouring) we wanted to make sure that our colour scheme didn’t come across as artificial. Hence, we chose to use warm colours associated with quality sweets that would attract both genders, black or white. Since sweets take up a lot of colour in themselves we chose to go with a simple palette with the walls to reinforce the focus on the product.
HOP: What are your 3 favourite (Sugar Sin) sweets in the store
SS: The original Swedish fish, raspberry/liquorice skulls and crick.
HOP: What do you like most about the stores design
SS: It’s very hard to say since we were very involved with the building process ourselves, (we were there every day, doing all the things that we could e.g plastering, sanding, tiling, painting etc). It’s also very hard to love one thing more than another. Right now Anna’s favourite things are the tables and mine [Josefin] are the bubbles, but next week it could be something different. It’s changing constantly, especially since we’re still putting up a lot of new decorations.
HOP: When did the store open and do you plan to sprinkle more sugar across the UK
SS: We opened on Monday December 19. Right now we are focusing on the finishing touches, the product mix and our own branded products. We definitely want to open more shops in the UK and maybe abroad but like everyone else ‘you need to start somewhere’ and for the time being all our time and effort will go into making our shop at Long Acre as great as possible.
HOP: What has been the reaction from the customers
SS: We are extremely happy with the reaction from others so far. A lot of different people (all generations) are coming in and telling us how much they love the shop…and the sweets. We couldn’t ask for any better and it makes us very proud.
Sugar Sin, 70 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9JS – 0207 240 9994