Like many of you, the delicious idea of The Candy Man exists only in the folklore doled out to us in songs like this one written by Leslie Bricusse for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Many can tell you, though, that he does exist. The Candy Man is making the world taste good in Winthrop, Washington at Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe!
The Sweet Shoppe is owned and operated by Sheri Mohre (left) and her husband Doug Mohre (right), also known as The Candy Man. The Candy Man is known for more than his candy making skills. People travel here to watch him spread his version of cheer, bestowing his delicious currency of sweets and smiles to locals and tourists alike.
“You can give people food and clothing,” the Candy Man explains, “but just as important, or MORE important, is putting a smile on their face for five minutes.” This philosophy was handed down to The Candy Man from a local philanthropist.
It is a philosophy of life that has put Sheri’s, as well as Winthrop, on the map since 1994.
Boasting an old Western theme down to its wooden sidewalks, Winthrop is cradled against the Methow River and enveloped by the crisp edges of the North Cascade Mountain range in Northeastern Washington. This may be a one-tumbleweed town that perhaps 349 people hail from year round, but at the main intersection rests a social hub for more than just the locals.
Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe draws people from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe who seek out the decadence that only small town living, memory making, and a sweet tooth combined can offer. In fact, one of Sheri’s employees has traveled to Winthrop from Macedonia for the past two seasons to work because of what this place offers!
From 6:00 am until the last customer comes a’wantin’, your senses are intoxicated by the sweetness of life. Early in the morning you get to bask in the warm smell of sunrise, drenched in the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon rolls and crisp-brewed coffee. The early morning chatter plays back-up vocals to the murmur of the Methow River that runs behind the Sweet Shoppe. By midday, the river gives over its vocal lead to happy babble of children, family and their four-legged mates jockeying for their place in line for homemade ice cream, various forms of chocolate-covered life or an old-fashioned game of miniature golf.
Yes, life is sweet in Winthrop and smells of homemade waffle cones and is coloredin fudge-smeared faces. Plus that sweet life encompasses more than just those who call Winthrop home. Inside the Sweet Shoppe itself, walls that are not covered with sweets are plastered with happy pictures of people who choose Sheri’s for their yearly rendezvous.
One such group of Seattle bicyclists ride over the North Cascades every year and have made Sheri’s their midway stop. After battling nature’s formidable mountain pass, the cyclists reward themselves with a stop at Sheri’s. The Candy Man dishes up fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, and coffee for them before they continue on their way. This has been their tradition since Sheri’s first opened.
The wall speaks of another story about a group that calls themselves the Dog Pound. The photos depict a yearly pilgrimage that spans nearly two decades, chronologically marking such memorable times that you can literally watch the kids of the group as they progress into adulthood with smiles stained the color of pure joy.
The locals enjoy Sheri’s for the same reasons and more! From spring (when they open) until late December, parents use Sheri’s as motivation. “We often hear parents pride themselves on how quickly chores are done when going to Sheri’s is the reward,” grins the Candy Man.
The most notable local story is that of Jimmie, who made a habit of coming into Sheri’s every morning for his coffee and a chat with The Candy Man. A plaque on the table commemorates the saddle chair that he sat at every day of his life since Sheri’s first opened – and literally where he died.
The plaque reads:
Sit on this saddle
High and with pride
In honor of Jimmie’s
Famous last ride
September 4, 2008
Recognition must be given to Charlotte Saucedo for the amazing work she did in building the predecessor to this web page. She was the inspiration in us deciding to have our own page which was built using most of her fantastic work. We also want to thank our Uncle Vince Wirth for making this page Thanks, — Doug & Sheri