Sweeties Downeast Closes its Doors in Calais


By Lura Jackson


It’s never an easy thing to see a business in Calais closing shop, but it seems particularly poignant to bid farewell to Sweeties Downeast, being the area’s foremost candy provisioner. The St. Croix Valley has had a long relationship with candy production, including the renowned Beckett family, but even with that connection the store wasn’t able to maintain its business. Sweeties Downeast will be closing its Calais branch for good on Saturday, May 27th.

“We’ve loved being here, but love alone can’t get you through,” stated store owner Lisa Stephen in her closing comments on Facebook. Stephen assured her customers that they will continue to be able to utilize their gift certificates at the Eastport store, which will be opening in mid-June and will remain open for seven days a week.

While any visitor to both locations of Sweeties Downeast would be enthralled by the enticing colors and visual array of the store interiors, there are many notable draws. Candies of all flavors and textures are featured in the stores, including Beckett’s famous honey sticks. Among the most beloved events offered by Sweeties Downeast are the birthday parties, during which Stephen provides attendees with ample candy-related activities for a flat fee. “It was sooo much fun,” wrote Julie Reynolds Redding of her experience with a birthday party at Sweeties Downeast. “My little guy and his friends had a blast and Lisa took care of everything! I just showed up!” Birthday parties will continue to be offered at the Eastport location. 

Comments from the community regarding the closure were uniformly disappointed at have lost “my favorite store in Calais” and not being able to get “my husband’s favorite licorice sticks so close to home.” The community expressed its ongoing support of Stephen and the Eastport store.