Why not visit the aptly-named town of Loveland, Ohio for a Sweetest Day gift? Here are two establishments to try.
For those of you from outside the Great Lakes region, Sweetest Day is a holiday that falls on the third Saturday in October. First celebrated in Cleveland in the early 1920s, Sweetest Day was created by people within the candy industry, who began by giving away candy to orphans and shut-ins. Though sometimes criticized for its affiliation with the very industry whose sales it helps boost, Sweetest Day is described by the Hallmark Company as “an original American holiday not based on any group's religious tradition. It's simply a reminder that a thoughtful word, deed or small gift enriches the life of the recipient as well as the person giving it.” Hallmark also reports that 80% of Sweetest Day cards sold are romantic.
Loveland Sweets is an old-fashioned candy store that sells candies that might be remembered from years past, but also sells their own homemade candies and ice cream. Located at 124 W. Loveland Avenue, Gloria Wilson is the owner. “I always wanted a candy store,” she said. “When this location became available, I had to try it.”
While she sells candies produced elsewhere, most of the items are made at the store, such as buckeyes, turtles, salted caramels (a personal favorite), and opera creams. Barks are popular, also, and like the other confections behind the counter, are available in many flavors, such peanut butter, toffee, espresso, and movie theater bark (Reese’s pieces, M & M’s, and Sno-Caps).
Still sweet, but coming from the oven, would describe the items found on top of and under the shiny glass at Cocoa Bites, down the street at 305 W. Loveland Avenue. Like Gloria Wilson, owner Glenda Jones has a lifelong love of sweet things from the kitchen that eventually became a business. Also like Gloria, Glenda knew that Loveland was the right location for that business.
Cupcakes are a specialty. “Cupcakes are so individual, just for that person. There’s something about a cupcake that puts a smile on people’s face,” Glenda said. Gluten-free cupcakes are also available every day.
Each day is a little different at Cocoa Bites. There are seasonal flavors, daily breakfast specials, and bread pudding on Fridays. Bread pudding is traditionally made with what-have-you, so Glenda was asked about her individual methods. “I usually combine some type of sweet bread with some French bread, and make a sauce with a liqueur,” she said. Popular flavors are apple and amaretto. All items are available daily to customers who call ahead.