Leena Asbridge has about two weeks left in her current work as a bank field examiner before she starts a new, sweeter chapter in her professional career.
She’s in the midst of preparing to open Sweet Noshings, the candy store that will occupy 1,750 square feet at 2113 Madison Ave. in Overton Square.
It’s the culmination of a long-running joke in her family – her promise that she’d one day put her sweet tooth to good use and open a candy store. And after driving around one day earlier this year with her fiance, they had a eureka moment.
“We were driving around and talking about it and both were like, ‘That’s where we need to put it,’” Asbridge said of Overton Square, which has seen a flurry of leasing activity in recent weeks as empty space has been snatched up by new restaurants and retail shops.
“We’d actually looked at Downtown, across from The Peabody, but we decided that would be too much tourist traffic and that Overton Square would be more of a local thing. I thought that was a better idea. There’s a lot of foot traffic, lots of restaurants, everybody seems to be having a good time, and it seems like just a friendly place to come to.”
The tentative goal for now is for Sweet Noshings to open sometime in mid-October. The whole thing came together fast, with a lease getting inked not long after Asbridge formally got the process under way.
“We talked to Aaron at Loeb, and then we just decided to do it,” said Asbridge, referring to Loeb Properties Inc. vice president of brokerage Aaron Petree, who brokered the deal. “We’d started on this I guess around May and then got to working on a lease. We’re getting things together now. We’ve already lined up the restaurant supply people, because we’re going to be cooking in there, too. We’re going to bake all the cookies and cakes and things like that, so right now we’re trying to get all that together.”
The full range of offerings at Sweet Noshings will include things like chocolate, candy, cookies, puddings, granola and oatmeal. Other highlights will include coffee, popcorn and bulk bag-it-yourself candies.
“And there will be gourmet popcorn – about five to 10 flavors,” Asbridge said. “We’ll also have a coffee bar that’ll feature all Ugly Mug varieties. So, it’s going to be a lot. Anything you can put sugar in, it’s going to be in the store.”
Other recent leasing activity at the square, meanwhile, includes Robata Ramen & Yakitori Bar.
A restaurant owned by Jimmy Ishii, the owner of Sekisui restaurants, the new venture will open in what is known as the Griffin House. The concept for the restaurant is a bar and grill that serves skewers of grilled meat and vegetables, according to a press release from Ishii’s company.
Chefs will serve customers with an oar at a bar, bringing a Japanese custom to the experience, and the restaurant will feature seating on the front porch and the patio in the front yard.