Just some of Dulcefina's vast selection of sweets

Opening the door to Dulcefina Candy & Sweets is like being launched into a childhood fantasy. The scent of chocolate and sugar engulfs you, while the sight of over hundreds of candies and chocolates on every wall (and some even hanging from the ceiling) overwhelms you. Every piece is either wrapped in colorful paper or is itself a bright hue, making the store look like a giant candy rainbow.

But you won’t find any Hershey’s bars or SweeTarts in here. Dulcefina carries unusual candies and chocolates from countries outside the U.S., as well as little-known American sweets. According to the store, its current inventory comes from 45 different countries.

Owners Daniel Meidan and Nir Rogovski opened the shop in 2014 to expose people to candies they would have never had access to otherwise. Over time, they have created a place where the world's treats are at your fingertips—all shapes, all colors, all flavors and all textures.

More of Dulcefina's treats

The staff at Dulcefina embodies the store itself. When I walk in, employees are laughing and trying new candies that came in earlier in the day. One worker walks up to me with a smile and hands me a rose-flavored gummy candy from Greece that looks innocent enough. He says few adults enjoy the flavor. I take a small bite of the candy. It tastes like Febreze. “I’m surprised she still has it in her mouth,” one staffer whispers.

In addition to that rose-flavored candy, Dulcefina carries treats flavored with violet, anise, eucalyptus, ginseng, barley and rhubarb, as well as more traditional flavors, like coffee, mint, coconut and more. A taste of Gianduiotto, a wonderful Italian chocolate I try, more than makes up for that little pink gummy.

Dulcefina’s signature item is its licorice. The shop has black, red, salty and sweet licorices, with a total of 91 different varieties. Again, these aren’t your movie theater Twizzlers. This licorice is strong, and especially popular among Europeans vacationing in the area. Feeling adventurous? Dulcefina is for you.

Dulcefina is located at 4221 S. Tammiami Trail, Sarasota. Orders can be made online through the store or via Amazon.

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