Since the age of 4, Long Island native Candace Aaron has enjoyed baking up sweet treats for those she loved. She never imagined that nearly thirty years later it would lead to her owning a storefront doing the same.
In 2019, she opened the doors to her first baker,y Candy’s Sweets and Treats.
Her love for baking began after receiving a kitchenette one Christmas and later getting a Mrs. Fields oven. Her dad would always tell her that she got her baking skills from her paternal grandmother, an avid baker as well.
“I sold my first baked goods in high school,” Candace told Travel Noire. “I came up with my own spin on my aunt’s famous sweet potato pie and my teachers wanted to buy it for Thanksgiving.”
Yet, even with the success of her short-term business venture, baking for a living was never something Candace saw in her future.
Fast forward to college, Candace was living in the Atlanta area and still only baking as a hobby. Her friends would always ask her to sell her creations, but her dream was to help underprivileged kids instead.
“The love and values that my parents instilled in me are so strong. I wanted to be able to in turn give that to children who may not have grown up in homes like mine.”
After college, she was now a mom to a young son and struggling to find a job that would fulfill her. She recalls even being depressed throughout this stage in her life, but she wouldn’t give up.
A close friend asked Candace what did she think her purpose was and what did God put her on this Earth to do? The answer remained, to help children. The only thing stopping her was money, so that same friend suggested she finally put her baking skills to use to help her live out her true passion.
She began with custom cakes and quickly developed a buzz around Atlanta. Another friend connected her with WNBA star Angel McCoughtry, who was in the process of opening an ice cream shop.
“I had only made ice cream once in my life when I was young,” Candace said. “My grandmother had given me a base recipe and from that I created 40 flavors which made up the menu for the shop.”
Her work with the ice cream shop was only contracted for one-year so she went back into a job in social work. While attending her grandfather’s funeral in Long Island, a cousin made the suggestion that she relocate to Rock Hill, South Carolina and if she did, she would invest in her baking endeavors.
South Carolina was never on her radar, but she couldn’t pass up the offer. In the summer of 2019, her cousin purchased a building in the small city’s downtown area and the rest is history.
Candy’s Sweets and Treats (1051 Oakland Avenue) officially opened its doors in March of 2020 and even with the recent rules and restrictions of COVID-19, the business has seen nonstop lines and days of selling out completely.
Now that she is settled and finally earning the money to put toward her passion project, Candace hopes to soon begin offering baking classes for young children in her store.
“I want to get back to my original mission of pouring into children. I want them to see from an early age that culinary school is a real option and something they can do if they desire.”