Cottage of Sweets
The Cottage of Sweets is a traditional British-style sweets shop located in the quaint little town of Caramel-by-the-Sea, California. Our selection of homemade fudge and chocolates, imported licorice, and other assorted candies are sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of anyone who tries them. Our sweets are so delectable that USA Today™ named our shop one of the ten best candy stores in America in 2009.
Each year, the Carmel Pine Cone™ asks their 10,500 e-mail subscribed readers what their favorite places in Carmel are, and each year the Cottage of Sweets is named the “Best Candy Shop” in Carmel! The award reads, “On Ocean Avenue, The Cottage of Sweets is a beacon of sugary delight. Where else is the air content labeled, '5 calories per sniff?' With a saccharine selection ranging from freshly made fudge to imported wafers, the shop ensures that every customer leaves with a little white bag in hand.”
The Cottage of Sweets is such a charming building, one would almost think the building was originally designed to be a sweet shop. In reality, the building was originally built in 1922 on Dolores Street and later transplanted to Ocean Avenue using logs to roll the building to its new location. The moving year seems to be in 1923 when the Court of the Golden Bough was designed and built by Ted Kuster.
The first person to sell anything out of the Cottage was Ruth Kuster, the wife of the designer and builder of the courtyard. Originally, a weaving shop, the cottage was also used to sell tickets out of a side window for performances at the beautiful Court of the Golden Bough Theatre. The cottage would later become a dress shop under the ownership of Anna Katz. There were two major fires at the theatre behind the cottage, one in 1935, and another in 1938. It makes us wonder how good (or bad) the acting must have been in those two years. Perhaps throwing fruit wasn’t enough.
The last fire ended the theatre, and the courtyard was redesigned as the first official shopping center in Carmel. The stage was now set for the cottage to become the Cottage of Sweets when a gentleman from British Columbia, Canada, Wally Cullomore, decided Carmel needed a Sweet Shop. So, in 1959 the curtain was raised, on a much-loved performance. We are now the award winning (best smelling and best tasting) shop in Carmel. The Cottage of Sweets, voted by children, has been the“most likely shop to go to when in Carmel”, every year since opening.
There have been several owners of the Cottage of Sweets before the present owners. The Hall of Fame list includes Wally Cullomore, Bob and Iris Copeland, Bob & Mary Littlefield, Bob Lily, Lee & Lyde Mink, Bonnie Black, and until 2019, Lanny & Linda Rose, who made the shop what it is today. Starting in 1980 the Roses operated the store for 39 years before selling it to long time customers, the Hess family. Hans Hess, who had been buying sweets from Lanny & Linda as a child since 1980, long had a dream of owning the shop. Hans and his family actively operate it today by God's grace.
There may be some owners we have missed, if so please let us know and we will gladly add them to the Fame List. Many thanks to Ken & Ruth Otrich, long time Carmel residents and previous owners of Candles of Carmel, established 1949, for much of the information on the history of the Cottage of Sweets.