Rockaway Beach Gifts and Sweets opened last month with high-end chocolates, retro candy, souvenirs and inspirational gifts.
Co-owners Lynn Gallo, Lisa Eccleston and Kim Minelli took over the former Down to Earth, at 450 Dondee Way, No. 3, from Virginia Kemp, who shared her inventory of plush toys with the new owners. Kemp, who is in her 90s, wanted to retire. The new owners painted the walls white and put in a new floor. Gallo said she wanted to open this business years ago, but her career path turned.
They sell several sizes and varieties of Feze Chocolate, an artisanal chocolate company using high-quality ingredients and made in small batches in San Francisco. The business owners visited the factory. The company reaches out to the farmers who grow the cacao beans. It has won multiple awards in the Good Food Foundation awards competition for outstanding American craft food producers and the farmers who provide the ingredients.
“We are selling lots of retro candy,” Gallo said. They have bubble gum, salt water taffy, gummies wrapped in a bow and licorice by the pound. There is also a selection of well-known candy bars, such as Milky Way.
In the clothing end, the business sells scarves for adults, interesting adult T-shirts, Laurel Burch bags, children’s sandals and beach mats. It has a wide variety of soft socks with animal designs, Zodiac signs, a cannabis leaf and other motifs. The shop provides essential toiletries for the tourists who visit.
“Our merchandise is inspirational,” said Gallo. They have greeting cards that pop up. Coffee mugs urge people to get out and enjoy Pacifica on the waves, the hiking trails or dining and dancing at Nick’s Restaurant. There are inspirational books and tiles too.
Rockaway Beach Gifts and Sweets sells a deck of thought-filled cards called Action Cards designed to enhance well-being. One card says “indulge” and reads, “Indulge yourself often in good company and without guilt.” Another card reads “promise” with the back reading, “Promise to break old patterns that don’t serve you.”
The three business owners are good friends. “We just thought it would be fun,” said Eccleston.
“I just thought it would be fun to hang out with my best friends. Lynn and Lisa have a lot of good ideas and business sense,” she said.