Squishington’s Candy opening in downtown Lawrence

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Just in time for Small Business Saturday and the beginning of holiday shopping season, Squishington’s Candy is opening at 646 Massachusetts St.

Rachel Guffey is opening the store with her husband, Jhami Guffey, who has always dreamed of owning a candy store, Rachel said. As Jungle House, the Guffeys’ plant shop, has firmly taken root at 6 E. Seventh St., they are now fulfilling that dream.

And Jhami is actually the origin of the candy store’s name: Squishington was his siblings’ nickname for him growing up.

“As we begin to dream up names, he just kept kicking that one around, and we thought it was just too good to pass up,” Rachel said.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times

When they first started dreaming of what to do with the space at 6 E. Seventh St., they soon realized that it was way too big to be a candy store, Rachel said. The Guffeys had already started thinking about moving Jungle House downtown from its former East Lawrence location, though, so they transplanted the business there in late May.

But visions of sugarplums still danced in the Guffeys’ heads, and it was “serendipity” when their landlord told them that what was then the Liberty Hall video rental space — practically next door — might soon be available.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Squishington’s Candy, at 646 Massachusetts St., is close by Jungle House at 6 E. Seventh St.

“We just kind of spoke up and said we wanted it, so it worked out perfectly,” Rachel said. (Liberty Hall still has its videos for rent — they just come through the box office now. Read more about that at this link.)

The candy store is focusing primarily on a mix of nostalgic sweets and modern imported candies, Rachel said. Chick-O-Sticks, Dots and Swedish gummies are some examples she cited. They’re also hoping to sell Japanese KitKats, but they’re still working on those.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Jars of candies line the shelves below the counter of Squishington’s Candy.

Rachel said they’re also excited to put together candy mixes — for example, a fall mix with lots of oranges and yellows. She said they’re also hoping to lean on Liberty Hall events. She had wished they were open when The Mountain Goats came to town, for instance, so they could have sold a candy mix themed as “goat munch.”

The store has nautical vibes and a friendly deep-sea mascot, Squishington the octopus. The Guffeys wanted the business to feel like an escape, “as if you’re in a different place when you walk in the door,” Rachel said.

“We also love New England and the Boston area so we drew a lot of inspiration from that,” she said.

The store will have selections for folks with dietary and health restrictions. Rachel said she’s diabetic, so she’s excited they have found sugar-free Chick-O-Sticks.

There will be quite a few sugar-free options, she said.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Sugar-free candies begin to fill the buckets in the candy boat.

They’ve also ordered organic treats, such as organic lollipops, that are made from more whole ingredients, she said.

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Squishington’s also has allergy-friendly goods, including wheat-free and peanut-free candies, as well as vegan gummies, which Rachel said can be hard to find.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Squishington’s Candy is ready for vegan patrons, with vegan gummies available.

They also have some chocolate Advent calendars, which Rachel said she thinks will be a lot of fun at home with their 15-month-old daughter.

Almost all of the fixtures inside the store came from The Etc. Shop’s closing sale, including a large hutch with two mirrors attached.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times

“It’s gorgeous; it looks like it’s belonged in the building forever,” Rachel said. “And so it’s just, I think, kind of neat that we get to keep those fixtures downtown.”

The store will have a “soft squishy opening” from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday. It will be closed Thursday and open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The store’s regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Jhami Guffey (left) and wife Rachel prepare for the soft, squishy opening of Squishington’s Candy, Nov. 21, 2023.
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times Jhami Guffey
Molly Adams / Lawrence Times
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Lawrence Lowdown is a feature on developments around town. Have a tip? Let us know.

Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

Molly Adams (she/her), photojournalist and news operations coordinator for The Lawrence Times, can be reached at molly (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Check out more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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