It was approximately eight years ago that Shirley Scarpino moved the Village Sweet Shoppe from Riverton to Collinsville.
As the name implies she has sweets aplenty. The store carries Havens Chocolates in Maine, truffles from Green Mountain in Vermont, pre-packaged novelty candy and more.
But the store does more than satisfy those with a sweet tooth. After moving to Collinsville, Scarpino began carrying more and more primitive home décor, much of it handmade in the United States, and other gifts. Inventory is ever changing and to a large extent seasonal.
She's thought of changing the store's name to reflect the diversity but so far has held off.
"I've battled with it and still do," Scarpino said. "That's probably my biggest challenge — getting people to realize I'm not only chocolates."
Another challenge has been the economic conditions over the past few years, as her prices have gone up on items for which she can only charge so much.
"It has been challenging the last five years but I still love it," she said.
She also still loves being in Collinsville, where she has many repeat customers and appreciates the high-profile events that help bring people to town.
"The people of Collinsville are very, very supportive of us," she said.
Village Sweet Shoppe