Smooshies hits sweet spot with innovative toys and ice cream

Smooshies hits sweet spot with innovative toys and ice cream

Smooshies Candy & Toys is a toy store, ice cream and coffee shop.

Smooshies Candy & Toys is more than just a store — it’s an experience. It takes a toy store, ice cream and coffee shop — and stirs them together to create an engaging oasis that pops with color and fun.

Kids can indulge in a cup of nitrogen ice cream or dig into handpicked toys and eye-catching varieties of candy they won’t find in other stores, while parents sip on an espresso and awaken their inner-child with exciting discoveries.

With a location in Key Biscayne, 260 Crandon Blvd., Unit 27; across from The Shops at Sunset Place, 5738 Sunset Dr. in South Miami, and a flagship store opening soon in Coconut Grove, 3413 Main Hwy., Smooshies was recently tapped by Yellow Pages as one of 10 innovative new businesses to watch in the U.S.

It offers a memorable experience and several opportunities for families to spend quality time together. A lively calendar of events and workshops, along with events space, gives families more reason to return to Smooshies time and again.

Handpicked toys
At Smooshies, signature hot air balloons hang overhead and shelves are packed with a selection of unique toys that encourage imaginative play and make learning fun. Toys for the littlest ones include Busy Buddies with bright, large moveable “gears,” hand-painted wooden puzzles, and cloth books with lots of fun, mobile parts for the budding chef or firefighter. There are whimsical pillows in fun shapes and kits that teach yoga.

Smooshies specializes in toys that inspire and excite for the tougher age 8-12 crowd (not quite little kids, not quite teens) including 3-D drawing sets, a marshmallow gun, an ice cream science kit and a design-your-own Stormtrooper. At Smooshies, customers can find an assortment of gifts, which are certain to draw a huge grin.

Ice cream and coffee
Nitrogen ice cream — in flavors including chocolate, strawberry, Nutella, as well as local favorites like dulce de leche, mango, coconut, guava and mamey — is made-to-order using a mixer and dry ice, creating an exciting show of billowing, frosty smoke that delights kids and parents. Nitrogen ice cream is silkier and creamier than regular ice cream and it’s free of artificial colors or additives.

Additionally, Smooshies offers a full menu of Nespresso coffee drinks and will soon feature sandwiches and other snacks at its Sunset location.

For young and old fans of Willy Wonka, the more than 150 varieties of retro and modern candy are quite the treat. Bins of bulk candy, including organic, sugar-free and gluten-free options, explode with color and invite guests to mix to their heart’s delight.

Fun lounge with free WiFi
Looking for a place to meet, hang out or even do homework? Smooshies doubles as a lounge with free WiFi. Although something about the toys, the stylized interior and the tradition of enjoying a delicious mango ice cream while sitting at the counter beckons guests to also set the phone down.

Birthday parties, bridal showers and more
Every kid’s dream to host a birthday party in a toy store comes to life with the transformation of Smooshies’ Sunset location into a unique event space. With one-of-a-kind party favors and cakes, Smooshies creates fun parties customized to guests’ tastes. The soon-to-open Coconut Grove flagship store also will feature a large space for sophisticated events, including parties for children and adults, receptions, showers, business meetings and gatherings.

At the helm of Smooshies is Gigi Alibhai, who grew up in Cuba, where her mother did her best to make ends meet. Gigi’s mom, who was also a political prisoner for several years, worked at a candy factory and often brought home sweet and colorful toys she had sculpted with her own hands using leftover candy. Although young Gigi was tempted to eat them, these were her only toys, and so she resisted.

Now a successful South Florida entrepreneur and mother of three, Gigi’s story has come full circle with the creation of Smooshies, a name which Gigi’s daughter coined to describe her two irresistibly cute brothers. And isn’t it fun to say “Smooshies,” especially with a mouth full of gummy bears?

Philanthropy also is part of Gigi’s core, and therefore, Smooshies’ is “Sweets with Purpose.”

To visit the nearest Smooshies or for more information, visit www.Smooshies.com.


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