September was a month to celebrate, from the launch of Friends of Hemming Park management contract to the opening of Downtown’s newest grocery store, The Fresh Market, along with great announcements for the Laura Sreet Trio and the Bostwick Building.
Another exciting development that will improve the landscape of Downtown is the upcoming opening of Sweet Pete’s, tentatively set for late November. Co-owner Allison Behringer had a lot to share with me on why they chose Downtown and all the wonderful ways Sweet Pete’s will activate the old Seminole Club (pictured below).
“Pete and I believe that we need a vibrant Downtown in order to have a vibrant city,” said Behrigner. “Living and working in the urban core we feel more connected to the community than we have in the past. It’s exciting to be part of a movement that celebrates revitalization, small business and the arts. It is very rewarding to run a business you love and contribute to making a difference in your community.”
The Seminole Club – vacant for a decade – will be transformed into 20,000 square feet of candy goodness. The shop will feature a chocolate and candy factory; 6,000 square feet of confectionary retail; Crumbs, a specialty bake shop and dessert bar; and a full-service restaurant and bar, The Candy Apple.
“Sweet Pete’s success is rooted in quality ingredients, local support, and a passion for creativity,” said Behringer. “With this expansion, we knew that we wanted to keep our focus on our true loves: chocolates and candies, so we quickly decided to collaborate with local restaurant, catering and event company The Chef’s Garden to own and operate both the restaurant and our Sweet Event destination. Liz and Jennifer Earnest of The Chef’s Garden share our same commitment and energy for revitalizing Downtown.
Furthermore, their passion and energy for great food, drinks, and events matches the commitment Pete and I have to creating amazing candy experiences.”
Sweet Pete’s is already collaborating with neighbors such as Hemming Park, MOCA Jacksonville, the Main Library and Downtown merchants on bringing these amazing candy experience into Downtown. And, Sweet Pete’s has already booked more than 1,500 children for December field trips as well as December parties in the Sweet Event Destination.
“We are thrilled at the positive response we have already received from consumers,” said Behringer.
And we are thrilled to have you Downtown, Sweet Pete’s!