If you stroll by between 7 am and noon, go around the side to the walk-up coffee window at Sweetness and Light, and you might get a peek at Matt and Tami Toste tempering chocolate or hand dipping the old-fashioned candies that fill the cases at this Ferndale institution. Inside, treat yourself to browsing the cases of chocolates, fudge, divinity (haven't seen that since your grandma made it, right?), truffles, caramels, Victoria creams and brittle.

Matt, who's been working in the shop for 17 years, got his 15-year-old foot in the door taking out the garbage for a previous owner. He gradually worked his way up to chocolatier and he and his wife, Tami, bought the business in 2005, when they were barely in their 20s. It was only afterward that she discovered a relative of hers had started the original business — which changed hands, moved and was renamed in 1976 — before World War II. Her grandfather even dug up the old family recipe book from which they still make the Victoria creams.

"We haven't altered many of the original recipes," Tami says, including local favorites like the Moo Bars — a chocolate-covered caramel, almond and marshmallow confection the size of a stick of butter. And if salty-sweet is your thing, you might try her favorite, the salted pretzel toffees in milk or dark chocolate, which have a pleasing crunch and will hit all your buttons.

Sweetness & Light
554 Main St., Ferndale
(707) 786-4403
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About The Author

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal. She won the Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2020 Best Food Writing Award and the 2019 California News Publisher's Association award for Best Writing.

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