Howze, who lives with his wife and two children in Los Altos, left behind a yearslong career in high-tech to open Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe at 325 State St. last week. The space formerly housed Mr. English Coffee Co.
"If you would have said to me maybe two years ago … that I was going to drop out of technology and open a candy store or just go into retail in Silicon Valley, I would have said, 'no way,'" Howze said. "But lo and behold, here we are."
Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe is a "boutique-style sweet shop" that specializes in high-end chocolates as well as bulk candy, Howze said. The shop is filled with bins of gummy candies, jelly beans, lollipops, packaged candies, chocolates, grab-and-go snacks and the like, plus a refrigerator stocked with bottled vintaged and specialty sodas.
"We live here in Los Altos and we feel like downtown Los Altos needed a little slice of sweetness, a place for families and kids could go and get something sweet for their day," Howze said.
Howze is also eyeing the high-end gift baskets market as well as "corporate endeavors" in the future.
Sugarbaby Sweetshoppe is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.