Fitting out Wiscasset’s new Sweetz & More, and talking candy

Mon, 03/20/2023 - 8:45am

As part of the Pendleton family that had Wiscasset’s Pendleton’s Market about 60 years, Jeff Pendleton worked there in high school. He worked at Mason Station power plant in Wiscasset 28 years as part of his career with Central Maine Power and later worked 18 years for Renys department stores. Friday, March 17, the longtime woodworker was helping a new Wiscasset business get ready to open April 1 at the site of a famous former one, Big Al’s Super Values, next to the still open Big Al’s Fireworks.

In a followup phone interview Saturday, Pendleton explained how he wound up working on Sweetz & More’s fit-out for owner Steve Jackson. “I met Steve fishing down to Boothbay, and he asked me if I could give him a couple of days a week this winter putting some shelving together at the store.” And as a lifelong Wiscasset resident, Pendleton is pleased with Big Al’s owner Allen Cohen’s choice on who to lease  to. “I think it’s a great fit,” Pendleton said.

Based on a look-around Jackson granted Wiscasset Newspaper, the more in Sweetz & More includes Maine-themed and other puzzles; Maine souvenirs; and moose and other stuffed animals. And the sweets go beyond the store’s nostalgic classics like Bazooka and Teaberry gum and Raisinets to include pink hot chocolate and a banana one; candy art to make; candies from around the world; and freeze-dried gummies.

Pendleton said it is nice seeing all the shelving fill up with soda and more. “When you have a project like that and you get done, you can be proud of it, and see what you’ve accomplished. It gives me a good feeling.” 

Pendleton does not consider himself an especially big fan of candy. “I indulge, like everyone else,” he said, laughing. “I have a few things I like,” such as peanut M & M’s, which he said the store has. “They have everything.”

While there Friday, Wiscasset Newspaper also asked Jackson and wife Ellen their favorite candies. There are too many to pick just one, he said. He added, he samples whatever candy a staff member has out on their desk.

Ellen Jackson, a soon to be retired schoolteacher, likes “anything with dark chocolate.”