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Miette Confiserie

Sweet Dreams are Made of...Miette Confiserie Candy

The organic cakes, the sweet Parisian macaroons and the silky pots de crème weren’t enough. Caitlin Williams and Meg Ray are now tempting our sweet tooth with a new store full of chocolates covered in silver metallic wrappers and candy from the four corners of the world.

Like a kid in a candy store
Around the corner from Hayes Valley, overlooking the new Octavia Greens, Miette Confiserie looks as if it has appeared out of nowhere and in a way it has. “There was nothing here before,” explains Williams on a busy Sunday afternoon in between groups of excited children coming back from a scavenger hunt across the city.

“People ask us how we knew about this place with the great moldings and windows,” she laughs, “I wish all this had been there before but the truth is it was Meg’s husband who is a carpenter who did all the work.”

The walls have been covered in pastel-colored wallpaper with big flowers reminiscent of the wallpaper my grand-parents had in their house when I was a child in France. On the shelves are pharmacy-type jars full of malt balls, gummy bears and jelly beans.

When a second group of kids run in, Caitlin walks around picking up jars and weighing licorice and salt-water taffy for them. One kid is so happy with the candy he’s getting he asks to kiss Caitlin’s hand and doesn’t let go until his Mom makes him leave.

A sweet cure for what ails you
“Sometimes I feel like a candy pharmacist,” laughs Williams, “people come in and ask for suggestions for what they should try next, what I think they will like.”

If you’re dealing with a bad case of childhood nostalgia, try the pixy stix (10 cents each) or the sour lemon drops ($10/lb.) and the organic caramels made locally by the owners’ friend Kate (50 cents each). A special education teacher, her students help her wrap the caramels by hand. The caramels come in three flavors: burnt, fleur de sel, and coffee made with locally roasted Blue Bottle Coffee Company.

Anyone who grew up in Europe will be excited to see many childhood favorites including Pierrot Gourmand lollipops (75 cents each) that come in fruity flavors such as lemon, raspberry and orange; Krema Batna and Régal’ad candy (15 cents each) and the fruit or caramel Carambars.

“The French American school is nearby so during lunchtime, I get all the French kids coming in to buy candy from France,” explains Williams.

More Milk, Please
“There are too many places that focus on dark chocolate,” laughs Williams. “I want to be the milk chocolate specialist.”

Most chocolates can be found on the table in the center of the room. The selection includes small milk chocolates with sea salt and almonds by Lake Champlain, Rococo Chocolates milk chocolate bars with lavender, caramelized almond, coconut, sea salt or cinnamon ($10 a bar).

“We really try to have traditional American candy as well as foreign candy, from 5 cent squirrel nut zippers to more expensive stuff,” Williams says. The reason the Rococo Chocolates bars are more expensive is because the pair had to order them from the company directly, as they couldn’t find a distributor here. “We really wanted to have them in the store and hoped that people would understand why these were more expensive than others,” she explains.

On the table, you’ll also find Blanxart chocolate bars from Spain that come in organic milk chocolate ($6), dark chocolate with almonds ($3) and milk chocolate ($3).

Treats for your sweetie
Miette is a good place to find sweet gifts. Favorites include sugar-coated chocolates wrapped in cellophane and tied together to look like a bouquet of flowers ($5), Gold chocolate cigars ($24 per box), and a bright red goldfish made of chocolate by Caffarel ($8.50 each).

For a more sophisticated treat, try the L. Voisin Papillotes (50 cents each). These chocolates, usually sold during the holidays, are covered in a small piece of paper with something written on it and wrapped in silver paper. The dragées ($20/lb.), usually given at weddings and births in France, also make a nice present as do the l’Abbay de Flavigny pastilles ($3 per box) that come in violet, jasmine and rose flavors. Nougat fans will want to try the Nougat Blanc du Roy René ($10 per bar), a specialty of Provence.

Caitlin Williams’s personal favorites are gummy candy. “Meg thinks I’m gross but I love Haribo gummy candy, especially the cherries,” she says. You’ll find these in one of the many jars behind the counter ($4/lb.). She also recommends the very creamy Freia Melkejokolade bar ($5.25).