The Sweet Life

Where Record Collections Meet Tasty Confections

If a record store with crates of vinyl and classic album covers makes you feel like a kid in a candy store, you’re in luck. LakeShore Candy & Licks features a full selection of candy and music. Customers can’t resist skimming Mike Jensen’s expansive selection of classic vinyl. Milk crates upon milk crates, alphabetically organized, showcase an array of genres ranging from the roots of rock and roll to hip hop and rap essentials. Vibrant posters decorate the walls and classics play over the speakers.

Aside from the vast vinyl collection, this music lover’s haven also satisfies a sweet tooth. LakeShore offers “sweets for the palate and sweets for the ear.” 

This business started almost six years ago when Jensen spent a great deal of time at Koffee Kat Espresso Bar in downtown Plattsburgh, New York. He carted those same milk crates of vinyl along with a stereo down to the small coffee shop every Sunday afternoon. There, he would DJ and sell an array of new and vintage vinyl. 

“I did that for three years and would have anywhere from 70 to 80 records on hand,” said Jensen, a lifelong fan of classic rock. Music played a huge role in Jensen’s life, but now candy does too. 

Classic music plays on the stereo for customers as they look through crates of vinyl.

His wife, Liz Jensen, frequently shopped at LakeShore, then owned by Bob and Anne Sweeney, for candy during the holidays to send to their daughter in Baltimore. Around Easter 2019, Liz was visiting with Anne in the shop when she learned LakeShore would be closing. Devastated, Liz went home to break the news to her husband about the impending closure of their friend’s shop. 

The Jensens slept on the news and soon made a life-changing decision. Instead of allowing their favorite candy shop to close, the Jensens took action. They bought the store and added their own vinyl spin.

“I was an optician for 41 years and was looking for something different to do,” Mike said. 

Liz, on the other hand, worked as a school teacher. “Never did I think after 30 years of teaching that I would be making and selling chocolates,” she said.

For eight weeks, the Jensens came in for training. The Sweeneys showed the new owners the ropes of the candy making process and gave them all of the shop’s recipes. 

“The owners taught both my husband and I how to run the candy making machines, box the candies and order the supplies,” Liz said. 

At first, it was overwhelming. But after long nights and many mistakes, they eventually mastered the craft. In June 2019, LakeShore Candy & Licks came to be. The Sweeney’s traditions would carry on in the Jensens’ new venture. A selection of house-made confectionery delights, like caramel-filled chocolates, milk truffles and espresso bark, are irresistible choices among other mouthwatering treats.

The Jensens’ shop is based on the values of spreading happiness in the form of sugary treats and vinyl records. Their store has allowed people to dig into the past while continuing a respected North Country business, established well over 30 years ago. This combination of records and candy was an unexpected success.

Story and photos by Hales Passino

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