Dagenham sweet shop couple retire after 26 years

PUBLISHED: 18:30 14 November 2016

Penny Dettmar measuring a pile of News of the World at Candy's in the 1990s.

Penny Dettmar measuring a pile of News of the World at Candy's in the 1990s.


A couple who made their love of sweets a livelihood are swapping liquorice for leisure.

Candy's in Whitebarn Lane, Dagenham, as it looked in 1990. Candy's in Whitebarn Lane, Dagenham, as it looked in 1990.

After 26 years of blood, sweat and sugar, Colin and Penny Dettmar, both 61, handed over Candy’s convenience store to its new owners last month.

The grandparents took over the shop back in 1990, after seeing it was up for sale next to their second-hand car business in Whitebarn Lane, Dagenham.

“We decided that the local community around there still required a sweet shop,” explained Penny.

The pair were keen to preserve the store’s role at the heart of the community as it had been since the 1940s.

“We kept it all very traditional and very much for the family.”

Just four years in, and the couple decided to close down the car shop and expand the sweet shop into a grocery store selling everything from papers to fireworks. But the core of the business remained sweets – with everything from toffee crumble to fruit salads, black jacks and liquorice on sale.

“We were the biggest penny sweet shop in the area,” said Penny, who lived with Colin in Felton Road, Barking, until moving to Aveley 15 years ago.

“When people moved away they couldn’t stop coming back and buying sweets. We would see customers who had once come as children bring their children.”

The Dettmars also turned their hand to charity work, raising more than £6,000 for Saint Francis Hospice, Romford, with pop ‘n’ rock duo Chas & Dave in 2008.

After years of sweet success, they are looking forward to retirement. But Penny admits they will miss their community role.

“Candy’s wasn’t just another shop, it was a one-off shop, a place where you could just pop in for a chat. We met some amazing people and we will miss them,” she said.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Barking and Dagenham Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Barking and Dagenham Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Barking and Dagenham Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Barking and Dagenham News Stories

Saturday, July 22, 2017

If you’re wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend why not watch our three-minute Met Office update on whether we’re getting rain or sunshine?

Friday, July 21, 2017

A motorcyclist has been injured in a rush hour crash in Dagenham.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A new nursing course has been launched to help the chronic shortage of nurses in east London’s hospitals.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Acid attackers who live in council properties in Barking and Dagenham could be thrown out of their homes, it has been revealed today.

Friday, July 21, 2017

There has been a 71 per cent increase in rough sleepers across Barking and Dagenham since 2013 – the largest of any London borough.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A teenage boy is due to be sentenced today for stabbing to death a college student during a row in Dagenham.

Friday, July 21, 2017

An entrepreneur who secured an exclusive top prize at last year’s Thames Gateway Business Awards has spoken of the “amazing” effect it has had on his charity.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A distinguished head at a secondary school in Dagenham is to retire after more than 40 years of teaching.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now