A Sweeter San Marco: European Street Opens Its First Standalone Candy Shop

Feb 5, 2019

Throughout its three decades of selling sandwiches and beer in the River City, European Street Cafe carried gourmet candy from around the world. But now the Jacksonville institution is expanding its operation with European Street Sweets.

The new 1,200-square-foot candy store opened Tuesday next to the European Street Cafe in San Marco at 1670 San Marco Blvd.

European Street Cafe co-owner Andy Zarka said the new candy shop will carry a variety of retro and global candies.

“We also have a whole section of bacon-flavored items and the largest selection of PEZ candy and dispensers in the area,” Zarka said. “And I doubt you’re going to find cotton candy flavors like jalapeno or ‘Donald Trump’s Hair’ anywhere else in the city.”

Zarka said they’ll also offer non-traditional sweets, like edible insects, for the more adventurous consumers. They also have an adult section for customers 18 and older, featuring lollipops; chocolates and other candies shaped like certain body parts that we won’t try to describe.

Zarka said the shop will also carry celebrity “prayer candles,” featuring Princess Leia, Kim Kardashian, Freddy Mercury and, of course, Willy Wonka.

Even if this new candy shop ends up being a golden ticket for European Street Cafe, Zarka said it is probably a one-off. “Unless the right opportunity came at one of the other locations,” he said.

WJCT News asked Zarka what he’s most excited about when it comes to this new business venture. “Chicken and waffle taffy,” he said. “It’s really good.”

European Street Sweets is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, and it's located in the former Grease Rags Clothing Co. space. Grease Rags moved to Springfield last year after San Marco Blvd. flooded during Hurricane Irma.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.