Woman fulfills childhood dream of owning an old-fashioned candy store: ‘Very surreal’

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After dreaming about the shop since she was a little girl, a woman has finally opened her own candy store. 

Zoe Barnes is a 44-year-old from Kent, England, who grew up frequently visiting a local chocolate shop near her home. 

Barnes told SWNS, the British news service, that if she had been “good” all week, she was allowed to go in for a few sweet treats. 

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“If I had been good at school all week, I was allowed to go to the sweet shop on a Friday and get a treat,” she said. 

Barnes said the local shop closed, unfortunately, when she was a teenager — but that the childhood memory of visiting the store never left her mind. 

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The beauty therapist lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic and was unable to work, according to SWNS.

After feeling a nudge to start creating her own sweets in Nov. 2022, Barnes decided to sell some of her “retro” sweets online. 

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“I started doing pick ‘n’ mix for children, [plus] party cones — [and] then I moved onto weddings, christenings and gender reveals,” she explained to SWNS. 

This March, however, Barnes noticed that a local spot that used to house a newspaper company was available for rent. 

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“I booked an appointment to view it the day after I drove past and saw it had been put up for [rent],” she said. 

Two months later, Barnes opened her own sweets shop called Retro Zo’s Sweets — just around the corner from the one she used to frequent as a little girl. 

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“I’ve always wanted my own sweet shop — it’s always been my dream,” she told SWNS. 

The store offers the typical sweets that Barnes was offering via her online shop, as well as an old-fashioned feel for customers to experience in person. 

“The response so far has been so positive. I’ve got my regulars, and they’ll come in after school and on Saturdays. You have parents and grandparents bringing them in,” she added. 

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Barnes said the feeling of finally opening her own candy shop has been “very surreal.”

She continued, “I still walk in some days and turn the lights on and look around thinking, ‘I’ve actually fulfilled my dream.’”

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Fox News Digital reached out to Barnes for further comment.

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