Channeling my inner kid: Sweet Pete’s Taffy Class

Sweet Petes

What’s the perfect outside-the-box activity for a childless adult on a Saturday afternoon? If you guessed taffy-making class, you are spot on.

After my two friends and I discovered Sweet Pete’s when we were on a quest to buy gluten-free treats for our boss’ birthday, we threw around the idea of taking one of the many classes that the candy shop offers. We finally settled on the Taffy class, and signed up in eager anticipation of learning to make a delicious candy and have an excuse to shop the rest of the store. (Sea salt caramels anyone? Yes, please.)

Now, I am not a big sweet tooth, but I love me some taffy. It reminds me of going down the shore in my youth. I even incorporated it into my wedding favors.


My wedding favors. One piece of taffy from Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy and Fudge in Ocean City, NJ and two pieces of Lindt Lindor truffles. Which I was later told AT my wedding that it bore close resemblance to male genitalia. And yes, it says “these are a few of our favorite things.” Fail.

Anyway,  I was happy to learn to make taffy and even more excited to be able to eat it afterwords. And, as perfect preparation for going to a Sweet Pete’s class, Metro Jacksonville featured an interview with one of the candy shop’s owners that morning, so I went in with a good idea of the store’s history, philosophy and future endeavors.

The day before the class, I joked to my friends Sara and LaRonda that they better show up because I didn’t want to be the only adult there. Well, good thing they did come. The class was pretty small and besides the three of us adults, the only other attendees were an adorable, excited kid of maybe eight or nine years and his dad. Bonus: more candy for each of us!

We started off with the ingredients that go into taffy — nothing particularly exciting. Once it was cooked, the finished product went on the oil-slicked granite tabletop to cool off. Once it cooled to room temperature, Pete (at least I’m assuming he is Pete) began pulling it on the pipe coming out of the wall.

Sweet Petes

I believe it was to get air into it. It worked, because what looked like only a small amount of taffy — there were some initial fears from my colleagues that we’d all have to share that little bit — became much, much bigger. We then each got a piece to hand pull. It was definitely a workout for the arms. I like to think I burned off some of the calories I later ate in taffy.

Once we finished pulling, it was time to make it into a tube and cut into small pieces, which were then wrapped up.

Sweet Petes

Sara cuts taffy like a pro.


Sweet Petes

The final product.

There was more than enough taffy to go around. I took home about 15-20 pieces and I was conservative taking the candy. Plus I bought a bag of jelly beans. And some sea salt caramels. I’m happy to report that it’s a day after the class and I have NOT eaten all the candy yet. At the end of the class, we each got a free scoop of ice cream for taking part in the class. I chose Java. And it was so delicious (anything free tastes good to me, but this was legit delicious).

Sweet Petes

Post class, as happy as kids with our candy bags and free ice cream scoop.

And, just for fun:

Sweet Petes

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