Adrienne South and Amy Frugoli, two wedding and event planners in San Jose, CA, were both attending a networking event in 2010. They had taken the same training course and were part of the same wedding association so they knew each other well and were aware of each others work ethics. The conversation got serious as they started talking about how they felt they were destined to do something really fantastic. They both wanted to do something fun that incorporated their experience and talents, and they wanted to do it together. They had no solid ideas, no concepts and no starting point as to what type of business they wanted to do together, but both walked away inspired, thinking about potential business ideas. Fast forward a few days later and they actually text messaged each other with the same exact idea...a candy business!
This is when the concept for Sugar Tree started forming. They knew whatever they did had to be something that hadn't been done before. The œCandy Bars (candy and dessert buffet tables) at weddings were starting to get very popular, so they thought more about candy catering and bringing a œSweet Shoppe to the client.
In 2009, Adrienne's world had hit a devastating turn when she lost her father to Leukemia and then five months later, her mother to Pancreatic Cancer. "Going through something like this truly makes you appreciate what is good in life and really changes the way you view the world. says South. People are happy around candy and sweets. It is a simple pleasure and they can just be a kid again. I want the rest of my life to be filled with good things and happy people. If I can make someone's life a little sweeter at an event or help people remember how they loved certain things when they were little, I will be a happy girl.
"Seeing Adrienne experience such a loss, yet at the same time wanting to turn it into a a positive thing was powerful in my decision to go into business with her. " says Frugoli."I knew she wanted to create a legacy that would make her parents proud and give her motivation to create something wonderful."
The ideas started evolving and slowly but surely they had a company name, logo and finally , a 20 foot trailer custom made and wrapped from end to end with the company name and logo.
"We have never seen anything like our "Mobile Sweet Shoppe" and consider ourselves "The Original" says South.
"It's absolutely unique and fun", adds Frugoli. "I mean, It's a 20 foot store on wheels that you actually walk through. It's a combo of the popular modern day food trucks with the nostalgia of a old fashioned sweet shoppe. We have fun music playing like 'Good Ship Lollipop' and 'Spoonful of Sugar' and lots to look at, smell and taste. it's a complete experience..and best of all, it comes to YOU!"
Their specialty is fresh spun organic gourmet cotton candy in over 20 flavors including banana, watermelon, pumpkin, caramel, coconut, English toffee, bubblegum, hot buttered rum, peppermint and many more. Other favorites include gourmet flavored popcorn, saltwater taffy, bulk candies and nostalgic candy bars such as Big Hunk, Abba Zabba and Astro Pops.They also offer seasonal treats such as pumpkin chew bars and caramel apples in the fall and root beer floats in the summer. South and Frugoli explain that the sky is the limit by adding 'Sweets and Treats' to their company name. They can incorporate any kind of item - candy, ice cream, baked goods, cookies- whatever can be considered a treat is a possibility to serve.
Sugar Tree's Mobile Sweet Shoppe is available for private or public events. It can be rented for a wedding, birthday or just about any kind of party as well as private corporate events. They are happy to participate in fundraisers for schools and organizations as well as community events.
If there is an event where a 20 foot trailer just isn't practical, no worries, you can still have the Sugar Tree experience as they can replicate the feel of being inside the Mobile Sweet Shoppe with a few tables adorned with their custom linen, shelving and containers.
They also provide custom favors for weddings and parties as well as promotional "give-a-ways" with or without the rental of their sweet shoppe services.
"We have provided cotton candy for late night pick me ups at weddings as well as bags of custom colors of candy for companies to use for marketing purposes. Everyone appreciates a sweet treat, no matter what age or reason" chuckles Frugoli.
Of course, like every job there are challenges, the ladies say. "Every day brings new learning experiences outside of the candy catering piece of it. Learning about hitching trailers, flat tires, generators and hauling a 20 foot trailer through tight spots weren't necessarily things we were thinking about when we came up with our business idea, but we still laugh at each other and how ridiculous we look covered in grease or when we run out of gas. We don't sweat the small stuff, instead we focus on getting people their sweets & treats!"
Amy Frugoli & Adrienne South are the Co-owners, Co-founders and candy slingers!