By Devon Johnson
Montreal-based artisanal candy retailer Squish has been embarking on an aggressive expansion plan that involves opening stores nationwide. The company who currently has eight locations across Canada is planning new locations in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, set to open within the next year.
Squish was founded in 2014, opening the first location at CF Carrefour Laval in Quebec, followed by two stores at CF Fairview Pointe Claire and Montreal Eaton Centre. In 2015, Squish continued to expand by opening two shop-in-shop locations inside Hudson's Bay in Toronto (Queen Street) and in downtown Vancouver.
Squish's most recent locations include an Ottawa store at CF Rideau Centre, a Quebec City store at Place Laurier, and a newly opened store at Toronto's Scarborough Town Centre - sharing a space with Toronto food based retailers Sweet Jesus icecream and Love Me Sweet Japanese cheesecake.
The mastermind behind the luxury candy brand is Canadian entrepreneur Sarah Segal, who noticed that the artisanal candy industry in Canada had a gap to fill. The Segal surname is a familiar one in the Canadian retail industry, as Segal's father Herschel Segal founded Le Château, while her cousin David Segal founded DAVIDsTEA.
Stores were designed by Toronto-based EVOQ Architecture, and photos in this article are from the firm.
Squish's signature product is their gummies, which come in over 100 different flavours. The company's most popular gummies are champagne roses, prosecco bears, and ginger beer drops, all found in the alcohol-free cocktail line of gummies. For those who are looking for something else for their tastebuds, the company also offers jelly beans, chocolate, liquorice, and marshmallow candies.
Will premium candy sell big in Canada? New studies show that 40% of Canadians eat candy 3 times a week or more, while 28% of Canadians eat candy every day. Canadian's cravings for candy is undeniable. Time will tell if a higher-priced offering will resonate with consumers.
Squish plans to open more boutique locations under the representation of Sacha Singh at brokerage Oberfeld Snowcap, ranging from 500 to 1,000 square feet. The company's next step is focusing on super-regional malls on the west coast of Canada, and with a continued focus in the Ontario market.
*The above photos are by Francis Tousignant of Toronto-based EVOQ Architecture, which also designed the Laval and other locations.