Suck and Chew sweet shop gives East End a taste of the past

A sweet shop fashioned on tradition, service and nostalgia has opened on London’s Columbia Road, E2.

Suck and Chew founder Vicki Maguire, a copywriter at advertising agency Hurrell Moseley Dawson Grimmer, came up with the idea after hankering after old-fashioned service and carefully crafted products.

Typographic designer Andy Dymock has devised the logo and livery.

Suck and Chew sells traditional sweets such as pear drops, as well as old records, books and magazines – an area of the shop Maguire has named ‘Vintage Tat’.

Maguire says, ‘When it came to the look of the shop, we started with how we wanted the interior to look, rather than the retail experience we wanted to achieve.

‘We wanted adults to stand in wonder at the rows and rows of sweetie jars and ditch their organic lifestyle at the sight of a Sherbet fountain,’ she adds. ‘It is a nostalgic concept, but more than that. It’s about a love of the time and care that went into things, and of independent stores.

Maguire says that the concept goes against the sensible retail model of order and quick customer turnaround. ‘We don’t mind how many times we have to climb the ladder to reach the coltsfoot rock,’ she says.

Maguire says the shop took around six months to prepare for business. Suck and Chew is open on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, coinciding with the opening times of Columbia Road flower market.

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