Sugar Shack bids farewell to downtown Menlo Park


The memories are sweet, but Sugar Shack proprietor Suzi Tinsley is closing the door of Menlo Park's downtown candy store at the end of December.

The store opened at 816 Santa Cruz Ave. in 2007. After endless hours of finding unique treats and creating more than 1,500 custom Easter baskets, Ms. Tinsley said it's time to spend more time with her seven children and husband.

She's witnessed everything from grandparents visiting with children to a proposal at the store.

"My favorite Sugar Shack story was when two young boys came into the store just before closing on the day before Mother's Day," she said. "They had $5 to spend on something fabulous for their sweet mom, so I whipped up a $45 basket and they said, 'This must be more than $5.' I told them it was only $2 over their budget and that I hoped their mom appreciated the great chocolates and their efforts."

The next day, Ms. Tinsley arrived at work to find two $1 bills taped to the front door with a note that read, "'You are the best candy lady everrr'," she said. "I still have that note, and those boys are now in high school."

Sixty-five percent of her business has been event-based --most recently, the Sugar Shack provided candy for 975 bike riders participating in the Canary Challenge. Ms. Tinsley said she, as well as her candy, will still be available for other events, including proms and bar mitzvahs.

Ms. Tinsley thanked the community for all of its support. "I grew up in the area, I live in Menlo Park now, and will always be active in this vibrant community," she said. "I love my customers, my staff and all the kids who have visited the Shack. I cannot thank them enough for making the Sugar Shack such a sweet downtown spot."

Anyone wishing to speak to her about events after the store closes will still be able to reach her at 325-0800.

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10 people like this
Posted by SOOO sad
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

This is such a loss to downtown MP. She is the nicest lady and downtown will never be quite the same :(

9 people like this
Posted by Oh no!
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Oh, this is so tragic. My kids LOVE the Sugar Shack - and so do I. Say it isn't so Suzi!

9 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm

pearl is a registered user.

What a nice story about the two boys. It brought tears to my eyes.

I want to know where Mrs. Tinsley gets all that energy. It's got to take a lot of energy to run a business, and be a wife, and mother to seven children! She ought to bottle that energy and sell it!!!

Reading Mrs. Tinsley's story made me think of the adage, "Our fingerprints don't fade from the lives we've touched." Mrs. Tinsley has certainly touched many lives over the years in a most positive way. Thank you, Mrs. Tinsley! ; )

8 people like this
Posted by Sad Grandmother
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm

My Granddaughter lives in Oakland and until recently spent time with me here in Menlo Park during summer and winter school vacations. Her visits always included a trip to the Sugar Shack. What a shame to have this wonderful store close! Thanks for the memories.

5 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:34 am

My daughter worked at Sugar Shack and loved every minute of it. There aren't many businesses these days that give high school kids an early job experience like Suzie was always willing to provide. Along with the sweets, this too will be missed!

4 people like this
Posted by LivingLocal
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 26, 2014 at 8:51 am

Wow - what sad news. The Sugar Shack was THE destination for candy. It was a truly unique experience, from the professional windows, to the huge selection of amazing candy to the unbelievable customer service. Suzi did it all. She made her dream an unforgettable reality in Menlo Park. There will be nothing like walking into the Sugar Shack during a holiday and seeing everything so perfectly displayed and inspiring.

This is very sad news for Santa Cruz Avenue and the community. I'll be calling Suzi to have The Sugar Shack Candy Bar at my next event!

2 people like this
Posted by Jeannie Reeves
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Nov 28, 2014 at 7:27 am

We are from Wisconsin and visited The Sugar Shack with our grandchildren. An adorable store we will miss. Our little Maddie always showed us around Menlo Park and never missed the Sugar Shack. Thank you for a great store that always brought smiles to the children and Grandmas and Grandpas too.

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