The smell of sugar wafts through the air. Glass cases and tables are overflowing with rows of truffles, treats, and penny candy. As you walk through the doors of Sweet Lorraine’s, you can expect to be greeted with a smile from Bob and Mufi Sullivan. The couple has been at the helm of this good ship for 11 years. They decided to open the Barrington candy shop after years of talking about it, filling a void in the community after a similar shop they had frequented when their children were younger had closed. Finally, in 2008, the stars aligned when the perfect Waseca Avenue location became available, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Sullivans make it a priority to feature as many local products as possible. You’ll recognize names like Sweenor’s, Garrison, Hauser, and Dorothy Cox, along with some newer additions from the folks at Hope & Main, like the popular Anchor Toffee. You can find just about anything from decadent chocolate-covered Twinkies, to jelly beans, nuts, dried fruit, and even gift baskets, along with a large assortment of ever-changing seasonal selections.
Community is important at Sweet Lorraine’s. Bob and Mufi have opened up the store to photoshoots for well-known local musicians, the Pat McGee Band, and local schools alike. In fact, even the Shady Lane Granola is made by a Barrington resident. You may think the name of the store comes from the old jazz standard by the same name. That’s partly true, but the store’s actual namesake is Mufi’s mother, Lorraine, who just turned 90 in January. Lorraine has always been heavily involved as a champion for those in need, so it only seems fitting to keep the focus on community.
While it may be a busy time of year at the store with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Bob says he doesn’t mind a little chaos. Describing himself as a “recovering journalist,” he’s happy to see people always smiling when they walk through the doors, instead of the often-stressed faces of his former career. Whether a customer is there for a special goody for their sweetheart, or just a quick stop from some neighborhood kids who rode their bikes over to pick up penny candy, the common thread is joy, and that is just the way the Sullivans like it. A place so magical, that Bob offers, “The blueberry port wine truffles and dark chocolate-covered cranberries, with all their antioxidants, are basically health foods.”