Kingham Life

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe Arrives in Chipping Norton

Mr Simms Pick ‘n Mix Counter

To the delight of many small children, a shop entirely devoted to the celebration of all things sweet and sticky has opened on the High Street of Chipping Norton. Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe has come to Chipping Norton.  There is – of course – a full pick and mix range with colours, styles, smells and shapes to tempt the most picky sweet connoisseur.  However, it’s not just about young children at Mr Simms.  Remember a special sweet from your childhood?  When I was visiting, a woman had traveled in from out of town especially for a rare liquorice she had seen mentioned on Facebook.

This is a modern sweet shop, though it is designed to look and feel like an ‘olde wolde’ experience with brown painted front, small paned windows and beautiful, ever-changing shop window displays, for which I think Chipping Norton should bring in a competition just to see what these guys can come up with!  As a modern sweet shop, Mr Simms caters for a variety of needs and tastes and so there are diabetic sweets (sugar free sweets – who knew!), vegan sweets, gluten free and no doubt somewhere in a jar are sweets made purely of air (known in our family as marshmallows – ask Grandma when you visit Kingham Cottages!)

G&T Set

There is an extensive chocolate and boxed sweet selection for gifts and most interestingly, there is a personally designed range of chocolates, just for for Chipping Norton.  However, I must confess my favorites included the chocolate tea pot and chocolate gin and tonic set.  So many friends spring to mind…birthdays and Christmas sorted for years to come!

Chocolate Teapot

Chocolate Teapot

What would you do with a personal chocolatier?

There are not only ‘main stream’ chocolates but a more personal selection.   When I visited Mr Simms Chipping Norton there were Halloween surprises of bleeding limbs and guillotines – all tastefully hidden behind covers so as to not scare the children.  These treats have all been made especially for Nicola Hogan who hopes to sell not only traditional sweets and American candy but creative gifts and special surprises to adults as well as children.

To this end Nicola, as a long term resident of Chipping Norton, has decided to celebrate and honour the town’s landmarks in chocolate and used her personal chocolatier to render the most famous local landmark, the Bliss Tweed Mill, in chocolate.  It seems to me that Christmas gifts are sorted this year for residents of Bliss Tweed Mill, both giving them to friends and being given as residents!

Bliss Tweed Mill Chocolates

Bliss Tweed Mill as inspiration

These chocolates really caught my eye when I went in.  Chipping Norton is an interesting Cotswold Town not least because of the historic landmark of the Bliss Tweed Mill.  Designed by architect George Woodhouse for cloth manufacturer William Bliss in 1872, it looks like a country house with beautiful proportions and grand architectural features.  The chimney for the furnace that powered the mill’s steam machinery is the striking detail, sticking up like a Tuscan column from the dome topping a circular tower in the facade.  It is a sight to behold!  Having closed in 1980 it was turned into luxury flats which now benefit from the stunning cast iron columns bearing the brick vaults internally and large Georgian style windows.

The inspiration behind Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in Chipping Norton

Nicola has fulfilled her life time ambition of opening her very own shop.  With a long history in retail, Nicola has plenty of experience both running a successful retail outlet and making customers happy. Dedicated to her father, her own ‘Mr Simms’, Nicola says “He loved sweets and in his latter years enjoyed the pick and mix at his residential home, whilst reminiscing to music and black and white photos from his past.”  After all, there’s nothing like a smell or a taste to jog those memories and take you in an instant to another place.

G&T for Tea

Stay with us, visit them!

Chipping Norton is barely 15 minutes drive from Kingham Cottages.  There is ample free parking in the town square and other shops in the centre to enjoy as part of a trip into town, not least the fabulous Jaffe and Neal bookshop and The Tea Set just along from Mr Simms.

Chocolate Teapot