For months now people have been telling me I have to go to Sweet Pete’s All Natural Sweets. While I am not known for my sweet tooth, I do like to indulge every now and then. The reason that people told me about this place so frequently is because of the numerous options for those of us with Celiac Disease and/or gluten intolerance. Not only are the treats all natural, they also have many treats that are vegan and gluten-free. Each treat is clearly marked with a “GF” for gluten-free or “V” for vegan. So on a beautiful, 60 degree January Saturday afternoon I decided to take a bike ride from San Marco to Springfield to check it out.
Sweet Pete’s is located in Springfield near Shand’s Hospital not far from the intersection of 8th and Pearl in a cozy residential/commercial mixed use area in an old restored historic Springfield home. They are best known for their gluten-free sea salt caramel.
Upon entrance you are greeted with a caramel sample. I knew this was coming and I anxiously awaited its sweet yet salty taste on my tongue. They are sooooooo good. The delicate crunchiness of the sea salt mixed in with the chewy sweet caramel is exemplary.
Sweet Pete’s is decorated just like a candy store should, lots of colorful decorations as well as colorful candies and desserts everywhere. In addition to the decor, the cherry on the top of the ambiance was the music; they played various songs about candy (the Jackson 5 “Candy Girl” was playing while we were there), so fun.
As we walked in to our right, I immediately noticed the gluten-free chocolate covered graham cracker cookies, the gluten-free chocolate covered sandwich cookies and the gluten-free
chocolate covered pretzels. In the next room there was a huge assortment of pay by the ounce (I think it was $1.09/ounce mix and match) there were jelly beans, gum, nonpareils (white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate), and much more. Also behind the counter they had gluten-free ice cream. Flavors included Toasted Coconut, Bananas Foster and a coffee/java flavor that looked delish. In another case they had gluten-free chocolate covered peanut shaped candy.
I was told that almost everything is made on the premises and of course the ingredients are all natural. They do communicate that their candy is processed on equipment that also processes nuts, so for those with a peanut allergy you may have issues, but gluten-free items are clearly marked.
They have a room upstairs for parties and catering is available. The staff was very friendly and available to help without being too eager. They are one of the only all natural candy stores in Jacksonville (with competition from larger stores like Whole Foods) and plan to host events for families with children with Autism later in the year.
I encourage you to check this place out, they have seating so make your purchase and sit and stay a while or book a party for your little one. Maybe we will run into each other while I am getting my caramel refill.