The Scoop: Couples looking for a sweet place to enjoy some time together can stroll over to River Street Sweets for a decadent date. With its original shop in Savannah, Georgia, and locations throughout the United States, each River Street Sweets shop has nearly every candy imaginable — from classic lollies to its World Famous Pralines®. You and your sweetheart can fill up a bag of mix-and-match delicacies and enjoy treats throughout the day or evening. You may even witness a proposal that starts with a question written in chocolate on one of the shop’s popular truffles or Chocolate Bear Claws®.
River Street Sweets is much more than a candy store; it’s a sugar-filled experience that puts smiles on the faces of both sweethearts and kids at heart.
Many visitors find themselves overwhelmed by the colors and candy choices, but that’s just a part of its draw. River Street Sweets also makes its candies on-site in an open kitchen, so you and your date can watch the entire sweet process unfold.
“That process is part of the experience and becomes a tradition for many guests,” said Raven Lundholm, Website and eMarketing Manager for River Street Sweets. “Our most popular candies are our World Famous Pralines® followed by our Chocolate Bear Claws® and glazed pecans — all of which are made fresh daily.”
Couples can also find a wide variety of specialty chocolates, fresh popcorn, handmade ice cream and gelato, fresh waffle cones, salt water taffy, and even nostalgic candies. The candy mecca is a fun and interactive stop on a couples’ stroll down River Street in Savannah or in 10 other cities throughout the country. The shop plans to open four more soon.
According to Raven, grabbing a variety of candies can be a great way for a couple to begin — or end — a memorable date.
“Getting to mix and match candies is ideal, so you can share and try different things with your date,” she told us. “It gets people talking about their likes and dislikes and opens up a whole layer of communication that is sorely missed in the world. Plus, candy makes you happy. Chocolate raises your endorphin levels and promotes happiness.”
From a Fudge Pot to a Fun, Family-Run Business
River Street Sweets dates back to 1978 when Tim Strickland — at the ripe age of 11 — convinced his parents to put a fudge pot in their gift shop located along the picturesque, tourist-friendly River Street walkway in Savannah.
A week later, on St. Patrick’s Day, Tim’s big sister, Jennifer, unveiled her first batch of chocolate mint fudge bars. She sold out fast — making it clear to their parents that candy was an easier sell than the knick-knacks the shop carried.
“We are not only a family-owned company but also a family-run company. Most of our staff have multiple family members and generations who also work here,” Raven said. “As an example, I have been here 17 years, and all three of my kids had their first jobs here. This is a widespread commonality with our staff as well as the original owners’ families.”
Today, Tim and Jennifer and their parents are active in the business, and they’re teaching the next generation of candy makers the tricks of the trade.
The team is rich with culture and personality, as well as skill. One River Street Sweets employee graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design, while another has been lauded for the sheer number of chocolates she’s made over her 20 years with the shop.
“We have also been growing so fast that we have developed new positions being filled with young and energetic personalities that are helping us keep on trend with online and social interactions,” Raven said. “We all come from different backgrounds and educations, but here, we find our strengths and build on them.”
Plenty of Locations Allow Daters to Engage All Five Senses
All kinds of people stop into River Street Sweets, from families who make it part of their annual vacations to couples who want to pick out candies that they can use as party favors at their wedding receptions.
“Our original location in Savannah, Georgia, on River Street is the mecca of candy and the ‘Willy Wonka’ experience for the area. Everyone leaves here feeling like a kid in a candy shop,” Raven said. “We see a huge amount of people on dates who use the river walk for a romantic stroll.”
Along with the Savannah location, the company has other stores in Atlanta, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach, as well as franchises in Key West, Florida; Pooler, Georgia; Greenville, South Carolina; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and San Antonio, Texas. New candy shops in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Orlando, Battery Park in Atlanta, and the Salt Lake City area are in the works.
Raven said one of the many reasons a trip to River Street Sweets makes for such a fun date is that you get to watch the candy makers while engaging all five senses.
“The strongest memories are tied to experiences that link many senses together. Here, you get all five tied up with a bow,” she told us. “You get to see the candy being made, feel the warm praline sample in your hand, smell the aroma of all the wonderful ingredients, taste candy samples all around the store, and hear the joy in the environment.”
River Street Sweets Provides a Sweet Spot to Profess Your Love
For some couples, visiting River Street Sweets to fill a bag of candy just the way they like it becomes an annual tradition, especially on National Praline Day. River Street Sweets also uses that day as an opportunity to give back to the community.
“We celebrate this day with a partnership with Feeding America’s program called Kids Cafe, where we donate a percentage of sales to provide meals for kids at risk of hunger,” Raven said. “We partner with them for a number of donation events, but this one is our most loved and celebrated.”
While National Praline Day happens only once a year, you may walk in on a wedding proposal at River Street Sweets at any time.
“I can’t tell you how many times I have met with a nervous guy wanting to plan the perfect proposal. In every case, their place of choice is inside the candy store where they had their first date,” Raven said. “I have written — in chocolate — ‘Will You Marry Me?’ on our bear claws, ice cream, and truffles. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the look on someone’s face when they see their name in chocolate on the display counter or when they open a box of chocolates with the proposal written inside. We feel so honored to be such a huge part of these.”
Whether you’re planning to propose, or just want to stop by for a decadent experience during a date-night walk around the city, River Street Sweets will be there, making fresh treats for you and that special someone.