There's a sweet spot in the Issaquah Highlands that's a real sugar rush for the senses.
"This is Candy Mache," said Brenda Zylstra, owner of this creative confectionery. "[It's] kind of my private art gallery."
This is NOT your regular old - let's call it 'stale' - sort of candy store.
"I consider all the candy in here here kind of my painters palate.," she said. "We've got at least 350 different kinds in the bulk bins, and then probably a thousand total of different varieties."
Sure you can eat the sweet treats, but you can also make stuff with them too! Everywhere you look around this unique shop you'll see gorgeous 3D works of art created with candy.
"We’ve tried to make a whole bunch of different varieties to show different techniques," she explained.
Some of the pieces include a Creamsicle made from Tootsie Rolls and gum, a vase crafted from Airheads and even a tree portraying the four seasons (mostly Tootsie Roll, Swiss Fruits and some Dragees).
Then there's a small "quilt" (mostly gum) that looks like it was modeled on a family heirloom.
Everything here is special.
"What’s cool about the art here is that you get to look at it," said Zylstra. "You can smell it, you probably have tasted some of these candies."
The dollhouse takes the phrase 'Home SWEET Home' to a whole new level. It's like a doll house dream come true.
"The walls, the floors, as much as possible, I’ve done candy - including the bathroom."
There's even tiny candy toilet paper in the bathroom. And the darling craft room is ready too! The little kitchen table is totally inviting.
"It’s set up for tea right now, and we have the little sandwiches, that’s all Tootsie Roll," she said. "I made little sandwiches out of Tootsie Roll. There are Tootsie Rolls in the cups as cocoa."
Some of the amazing works of art here are even wearable! You're heard of flower corsages - here they make candy corsages!
"They are fun because it’s not a flower that’s going to die," said Zylstra. "And you can keep it for a long time. It’s also fun because you get to eat it at the end of the night with your date!"
Zylstra's dream of opening this spot had a delightful start.
"I decided to make a cake for my son and I saw a picture in a magazine where they made a Candy Land cake," she said. "I thought 'Ooh, that might be perfect for me!' So I just went out and bought tons of candy and was able to make an amazing creation."
It turns out she had a passion for creating with candy.
"I wanted to be able to decorate without having to eat cake all the time, so I started looking for other ways to use candy."
At Candy Mache, you can host a party or learn how to make something cool - like a wreath. There is a different design for every month.
"This doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s art - it’s what makes you happy and brings joy," said Zylstra with a grin.
For this artist and shop owner, life is sweet!
"I love it when people come into the store and say, 'Oh I haven’t seen this before,' or 'I haven’t seen this in a long time.'