“Wish you were here,” is the neon sign that hangs up on the wall of multifaceted entrepreneur Ronnie Mupambwa’s latest food joint Candy Shop Café. Setting off its grand opening on July 21, the café offers a sweet concept of customized cocktails and unique deserts. The café itself is attached to Mupambwa’s Chakalaka Tapas Restaurant & Cocktail Bar opened just earlier this year on Feb. 15. The idea behind Candy Shop Café is designed to give diners from Chakalaka somewhere to go after eating to switch up the vibe for sweet treats and good music.
“It’s not just any other place,” says Mupambwa. “This is an experience and I want it to be that good; that proper,” he continues.
The Candy Shop Café is plastered in pink decor, including a set of walls covered in pink flowers. With one flowered wall surrounding a pink neon sign reading, “Candy, yes. You, maybe.” The booths, however, are draped in gold and black with alluring chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The café also features a patio with pink beams hanging above, extending the already sweet experience.
Though the experience ventures past the decor and delves into Mupambwa’s candied concepts of deserts. On the menu, are creatively designed deserts like the Apple Rose Tart, Matcha Honey Mousse Cake and Sushi Roll Dessert Platter. The drink menu features cocktails such as the Lemon Meringue Pie Sour, Peanut Butter & Jelly Old Fashioned and Banana Split Daiquiri Milkshake. Apart from the ambiance, sweet treats and cocktails, the vibe also features music mixed by Mupambwa himself complimenting the whole experience. “When you combine desserts, cocktails, champagne and good music, you can’t go wrong,” he says.
After moving here from Zimbabwe in 2008, Mupambwa’s business ventures began as Calgary’s beloved DJ locally known as DJ New Boy. Mupambwa then opened a Nando’s franchise followed by Ronco Liquor, as well as an introduction into his first late-night lounge and restaurant Lately. During the heat of the pandemic, Mupambwa went on to open Chakalaka. Now, his latest innovation Candy Shop Café has opened in time as restrictions have recently been lifted. When asked how he pursues his dreams no matter the circumstance, he quickly replies, “God.”
“I pray, and when you pray, you don’t really have to worry about some pandemic,” he says. “It’s going to come; it’s gonna go; there’s always gonna be problems, so you have to make a choice. Do I hold off on everything that I’m doing because of that, or do you keep going?”
Now, with what appears like a blessing, “Candy shop is going to be the hottest lounge for sure,” says Mupambwa. “Everybody loves desserts, everybody loves champagne and cocktails.”
With the grand opening underway, guests are invited to check out this sweet spot. Visit, Candy Shop Cafe located at 1326 – 17th Ave SW.