A dozen years ago when I was researching The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest, RFT co-editor Anne Weaver and I discovered Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe in the little Western town of Winthrop, high in the North Cascades of Washington. Judging from the crowds of happy customers at Sheri’s, they’re still doing a lot of things right.
We were intrigued that Sheri Mohre and her husband, Doug, made not only delicious handmade chocolates using high quality ingredients, but that they were absolutely huge. We awarded them four chocolate hearts, the highest score given by The Chocolate Lover’s Guide and recognized them for having the Best Chocolate-Covered Seafoam in the Northwest. We traveled back to Winthrop to see how Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe is doing and we’re delighted to report they’re still making those deliciously huge chocolates — and housemade ice cream, cinnamon rolls, and more.
Sheri’s secret for making great chocolate is no secret at all. They use the highest quality ingredients, make everything fresh by hand daily, and they love what they do. On a recent Labor Day weekend, the sweet smell of freshly baked waffle cones filled the air. Customers lined up four deep at the outdoor ice cream counter where young people served up softball-sized scoops of rich, creamy house made ice cream, including espresso, peanut butter chocolate raspberry cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, 36 other flavors and 24 flavors of soft serve.
Kids and grownups milled about or sat on the logs with real saddles slurping their giant ice cream cones.
Doug, aka “the Candy Man,” had just finished duties at the cotton candy machine, filling over-sized bags. He grabbed the big metal bowl from the machine and wandered through the crowds, offering kids and adults alike samples of with the blue spun sugar.
Inside Sheri waited on customers at a candy case filled with just about everything you can think of covered with dark or milk chocolate – marshmallows, peanuts, nougat, ganache, coconut, peanut butter and crispy rice, even Twinkies – and all of them over-sized. Why the emphasis on big? Maybe it’s because Doug was a former bridge builder in Seattle 20 years ago. Or maybe because it’s just fun to make chocolate covered seafoam the size of a sandwich or gold-ball sized truffles. Whatever the reason, chocolates at Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe aren’t the tiny, delicate, precious candies made by many artisan chocolatiers. These are massive, sometimes a bit sloppy-looking like chocolates you’d make at home, and always delicious.
The chocolate-covered seafoam is a mass of light, airy crispiness thickly covered with chocolate. Their peanut butter balls are a ball of peanut butter, peanuts, and crispy rice as big as a ping pong ball, drenched in chocolate. Their English toffee is a big, thick wedge of buttery toffee densely covered in walnuts or pecans. Even their salted caramel, in dark or milk chocolate, is a rich, chewy caramel the size of a match book coated in chocolate and topped with sea salt.
If you visit Sheri’s in the morning, you can enjoy a cup of Torrefazione Italian coffee or espresso with freshly baked apple fritters or their deliciously chewy cinnamon roll. But be sure to visit Sheri’s between April and November. When the snow flies, Sheri and Doug hunker down and rest up so they can delight customers again come spring. www.sherisweetshoppe.com – Reviewed by Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor