Callie’s Sweets at Burlington Station in Two Harbors
by Sheryl Jensen
Locals and tourists alike have a fun and fanciful new place to satisfy their sweet tooths at Callie’s Sweets in Two Harbors, located in Burlington Station at Hwy 61 & 7th Avenue, just twenty minutes outside of Duluth.
With their grand opening on May 29, 2021, the shop features gourmet fudge, popcorn, caramels, and candied apples made with fresh ingredients and prepared in their own candy kitchen onsite with windows for patrons to see the goodies being made.
Twenty-one-year-old Callie Swanson, a Two Harbors’ resident, is in charge of the shop that bears her name. She decidedly comes from an entrepreneurial family. Her sister Ashleigh runs Lou’s Fish House; her mother owns and operates the popular Vine & Branches Inn, a boutique hotel located by Lou’s Fish House; and her father, Chris Swanson, is the mayor of Two Harbors who also owns a digital marketing company called PureDriven.
Callie said, “I know I am young to be starting a business, but I have a great team around me, including my sister Ashleigh who is helping me with equipment and licensing. The whole family is on board with everything. The idea for Callie’s Sweets was my dad’s idea originally. We are all so excited now to see everything coming together so well and finally opening the doors.”
About the potpourri of planned fudge and popcorn flavors, Callie noted that they will be a work in progress as they see what sells and what people’s favorites are. “We are hoping to have a majority of what’s currently on the list along with adding some more flavors.”
Fudge flavors include: Cookies and Cream, Peanut Butter, Cranberry Orange, Maple Pecan, Key Lime, Chocolate, Birthday Cake, Lemon Oreo, Strawberries and Cream, Cotton Candy, Chocolate Caramel Coconut, and Mint Oreo.
Popcorn flavors include: Cinnamon Roll, Caramel Corn, Animal Cookie, Peanut Butter, Birthday Cake, Cheddar Cheese, Butterfinger, Maple Bacon, and Orange Dreamsicle.
Full cases of traditional bulk candy including gummy bears, jelly beans, foreign and old-fashioned candies, and a variety of chocolates offer even more yummy options for kids and adults.
Tables, chairs and booths are available for seating inside. They also plan on a patio and a cozy area with fire pits outside.
The 7,000 square foot building features a train and depot motif with model trains going around the interior of the building, with 5,000 feet of model train tracks and colorful train cars to connect to Two Harbor’s railroad history and North Shore Scenic Railroad memorabilia. They are looking at even adding a caboose in their parking lot.
Local artist Brian Olson has done some incredible murals for Callie’s Sweets. Outside of the building is a 130 feet by 12 foot mural of a train station with the entire Swanson family portrayed as people in the bustling depot.
Olson’s colorful indoor murals depict sights along the North Shore, railroad motifs, a train depot entrance as the shop’s entrance, and even an ore boat unloading colorful candy instead of iron ore.“The family gave me some ideas and then allowed me to put things together. It has been a fun project,” said Olson.
Some painted storefront facades inside also give a charming small-town ambiance with a fine flowers shop, a cafe, a bank and a woman’s clothing store.
According to Marketing Director Jordan Seidel, “Callie’s Sweets will be open year-round. The space will also be available for birthday parties and other events. We will have a Farmer’s Market in the parking lot, Saturday mornings, beginning in June. We will also have outdoor games like corn hole on the patio.”
Seidel said, “We have a fun retail gift shop including some seasonal merchandise.” He noted that they plan on having gardening, kitchen, and home decor, and train-related items, games, puzzles, women’s clothing, and more for sale.
He noted that they are also starting to work with some area resorts to put together sampler packs as gifts for their guests. So far they are working with Breezy Point and Bluefin Bay.
Callie is also excited about the fundraising opportunities they are offering. They want to help organizations and teams to succeed with a new and different kind of fund raising. of selling their treats and then helping organizations promote their fundraisers on Callie’s Sweets’ social media.
They had started as an online business in 2020 are still continuing their online ordering as well at calliessweets.com People can order fudge, caramels, popcorn and gift boxes. Current updates can be found on their Facebook site.
Callie said, “It’s very exciting to see everything coming together. I remember taking family trips together and enjoying family-friendly places. I want to create that same atmosphere at Callie’s Sweets. We want everyone to have this as another fun place to go to in Two Harbors.”
Providing employment for area residents and bringing tourists to other businesses in the area are added benefits to this “sweet spot.”
Seidel added, “The plan is for people to see something new every time they come here. We can’t wait for people to have the North Shore’s ‘Sweetest Adventure.’”
Callie’s Sweets is open seven days a week from 10 am to 8 pm.
Murals by Brian Olson