There’s nothing that sparks nostalgia quite like the taste of a long forgotten sweet we enjoyed on the playground at school.
For some of us it’s barley sugars and peanut brittle while for others its gummy rings and sour apples – but whatever it is that satisfies your sweet tooth, you’ll likely find it at Treasure Island in St Nick’s Market.
While sweet shops were a common sight back in the day, they’re much harder to come by now.
Thankfully, Treasure Island – with its classic red exterior and retro ‘sweet shop’ sign – doesn’t disappoint.
2Chill writer Nia Dalton visited the shop, which opened in 2003, to see if she could find her favourite treats.
She said: “Treasure Island really is a hidden treasure. I have lived in Bristol my whole life, and yet I never knew it was right in the heart of the city. “Walking inside, I felt like Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There were foam bananas, sour apples and chocolate pebbles in red top jars, and Jawbreakers, Dip Dabs and Red Hots in baskets.
“There were old-fashioned liquorice sticks on the wall and modern Chupa Chups cans in the fridge. Something for every sweet tooth out there.”
It turns out that Treasure Island stocks no less than 300 varieties of sweets, many in those satisfying red-topped jars that will be familiar to anyone who can remember traditional sweet shops.
And the prices are good too, with a bag a paper bag of favourites costing Nia less than £2.
Treasure Island shop worker Gareth Thorne said: “Lots of shops in St Nick’s Market have come and gone, but Treasure Island is still standing after 16 years.
“We have over 300 sweets in the shop, and every day we get asked for something different.
“Our most popular sweets are traditional rhubarb and custards and sherbet lemons.
“Despite liquorice supposedly going out of style, we have over 40 flavours and we sell a lot of it!
“Many customers request barley sugars and Grays Teacakes – though they can never remember what they’re called. I hear, ‘It’s round, flat and tastes like marzipan’ so many times each week!
“Old-fashioned sweet shops definitely are more rare now. I don’t know if they’ll ever make a comeback. The growth of online shopping is huge, but who knows what trends will be in the future.
“Since our store reopened, we’ve been pretty busy. Office workers are happy to see us still here, and lots of families come in during the school holidays.”
Treasure Island also has an online sweet shop, which grew in popularity throughout lockdown. Gareth said he thinks that’s ‘because sweets remind people of their childhood and happier times’.
Are there any food spots you’re always recommending to your friends? Share the love on 2Chill.co.uk and find new places to try yourself.