Colorado Sweet Shops

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While nothing’s as sweet as a blue-sky day in the Rockies, the candies, chocolates and other sweet treats at these Colorado shops come pretty close.

Mouse’s Chocolates, Ouray
In the heart of a little town that resembles a Swiss village, set like a gem in a ring of craggy mountains, is a sweet stop that will have you squeaking over its delicious chocolates. Glass cases brim with handmade truffles, chocolate-covered toffee, caramels and oodles of other goodies. Mouse’s is also in the business of roasting coffee beans, so you can perfectly pair your chocolate with a creamy, steaming latte. Must-Taste: Chocolate-covered coffee toffee. Also ask about the “scrap cookies,” made from the day’s leftover chocolate bits.

Patsy’s Candies, Colorado Springs
Patsy, in this case, was an Irishman with winning recipes for candied popcorn and taffy who settled at the foot of the “purple mountain majesty” — Pikes Peak — and opened his candy shop in 1903. While Patsy’s Candies is now owned by a different family, the original traditions live on. The old-fashioned shop in Colorado Springs hits everyone’s favorites, from salty-sweet items like butter­scotch popcorn and peanut brittle to decadentl truffles and soft-serve custard. Viewing windows let you peek in as the magic happens. Must-Taste: Patsy’s Pride of the Rockies Almond Toffee

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Durango
While you might have spotted Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory shops outside of Colorado (they have franchises worldwide) there’s something about visiting the source — in historic downtown Durango — that makes the treats taste sweeter. Before you even enter the Main Avenue location, you’ll likely catch an irresistible whiff of bubbling caramel or fresh fudge being made right in the shop. Watch as candy apples are dipped into a traditional copper kettle. Must-Taste: The Bear, a paw-sized cluster of caramel, nuts and chocolate

Enstrom Candies, Grand Junction
At 58 years old, Chet Enstrom had worked in the ice cream and candy businesses for most of his adult life. But there was something extra-special about the almond toffee recipe he worked painstakingly to perfect in his spare time. In 1960, Enstrom Candies was born. Now, with five stores statewide, visitors and locals have ample access to the buttery, chocolate-covered and nut-dusted toffee that’s become a Colorado legend. Must-Taste: The classic milk or dark chocolate almond toffee

Vern's Toffee House, Fort Collins
A staple since 1976, toffee patriarch Vern Hakbarth and his wife Gert created their milk chocolate and butter toffee with patient stirring, hand blending and no artifical preservatives for friends and family. When they shared it with their friends and family, demand for the sweet goodness led them to open the shop, where a third generation carries on the homemade tradition. Must-Taste: The original butter almond toffee

Johnson’s Corner, Johnstown
When is a truck stop a sweet destination? When they serve warm, sticky, fragrant cinnamon rolls that have become a Colorado legend. Named by the Food Network as the top truck-stop restaurant in the country, Johnson’s Corner is a perfect treat if you’re passing through northern Colorado and your sweet tooth needs satisfying. Must-Taste: The “world-famous” cinnamon rolls

Telluride Truffle, Telluride
Owner Patty Denny's chocolates take inspiration from the shop’s dramatic mountain setting — with a pyramidal shape and names like Snowcapped and Powder Day. Creative flavors range from tequila with salt and dark chocolate to white chocolate with Amaretto. Stop in the shop on Fir Street to savor a truffle or two — or take home a box of 14 delectable chocolates, called the Fourteener (after the 14,000-foot peaks prevalent in this area). Must-Taste: The Alpenglow: a bittersweet chocolate truffle flavored with cabernet sauvignon

Taffy’s, Pueblo
It’s clear that fans of Taffy’s are passionate about two things: sugary sweets and shopping local. A classic candy shop, Taffy’s is something of a throwback to a kinder, sweeter time. Homemade hard candies, chocolates and, yes, salt-water taffy are just a few of the saccharine specialties. Scoops of ice cream, malts and floats are perfect old-timey treats, and plenty of other goodies such as popcorn and nuts that will tempt you. Must-Taste: A candied apple and a limeaid to wash it down

Georgetown Valley Candy Co., Georgetown & Idaho Springs
These two family-owned stores offer a warm-and-friendly Main Street USA feel. Modest boxes of toffee “smooches” join simply labeled bags of caramel corn (available mixed with ingredients such as cinnamon, pecans and chocolate), but the mouthwatering flavors in these handmade confections stand up to anything in a fancy package. Even those looking for sugar-free treats will find a large selection here. Must-Taste: Cinnamon hard candies or the caramel corn

Roberta’s Chocolates, Denver
Try the Denver Mint truffles, an ode to the United States Mint located in Denver, or the Rockies Krispie, a Rice Krispie treat dipped in chocolate and accented with purple and white. Roberta takes a creative approach to chocolate, with novelties such as a white-chocolate “deviled egg,” chocolate-covered bacon, chocolate-draped potato chips and orange-and-blue Denver Bronco-themed fudge. Word has it that she has even dreamed up a chocolate-covered jalapeño. Must-Taste: Milk chocolate caramel truffles with Hawaiian sea salt

The Taffy Shop, Estes Park
Caution: The fluffy, sticky goodness churned out at this mountain-town sweet shop can be absolutely addictive. A popular stop on Elkhorn Avenue, the shop will take you on a trip down memory lane to carefree, childhood days where a piece or two of salt-water taffy was the ultimate prize. Oftentimes, the folks at the Taffy Shop will be pulling a new batch of taffy right before your eyes, which is great entertainment for kids. Must-Taste: Texas pecan (We know, you’re in Colorado. But trust us on this one.)

Sweet treats at Mouse's Chocolates in Ouray, Colorado
Mouse's Chocolates in Ouray, Colorado
Courtesy of Mouse's Chocolates

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