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Sweet Spot
Published: 02/05/2013
Photo by Gary Hayes

Sample your way through one of the South Coast's classic sweet stops, Cranberry Sweets, a coastal destination for candy lovers for four decades.

Be prepared to be tempted when you visit Cranberry Sweets in Coos Bay or Bandon, Oregon. Most of their store-made candies are out for sampling, inviting you to taste a 50-year tradition on the Oregon Coast. Bandon is Oregon's cranberry country, but other than at Thanksgiving or when squeezed into juice drinks, the tart berry didn't always get a lot of respect.

In 1962, Bandon resident Dorothy Johnson invented a way to capture the cranberry's unique tang in a candy. Her cranberry jelly candies were a hit and in 1974, Clifford Shaw purchased the recipe and Cranberry Sweets & More was born.

In the decades since, they've developed hundreds of fruit-based candies and chocolates, relying on that original recipe and traditional candy-making methods. All of their candies are still made by hand, in small batches, using only the finest natural ingredients. Cranberry Sweets expanded their jelly candies to a wide variety of Pates de Fruits, all made without corn starch, resulting in a pure fruit pate, unclouded by gummy starches and sparkling with intense fruit flavor. Tickle your tastebuds with blackberry, raspberry, key lime and red grapefruit jelly candies. Another unique line features flavors of lemon meringue pie, pumpkin pie, and apple pie.

In 2004, Cranberry Sweets was visited by Rachel Ray who included the store in her Food Network program "$40 a Day." You're sure to be awed by their variety of chocolates, fudge, jams, caramels, condiments and more.

Cranberry Sweets is located in Bandon's historic Old Town and in Coos Bay's Empire District.

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