If you’re trying to shop locally more often, this list is for you.

If you love dessert, this list is for you, too!

Experience Grand Rapids polled their followers on social media to find out which sugar shops in town are the sweetest. In no particular order, these are the businesses that rose to the top:

Love's Ice Cream & Chocolate

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Flights of Flavor at Love's Ice Cream

Enjoy Love's handmade ice cream in their shop in the Downtown Market.

Photo by Ashley Wierenga for Experience GR

Located in the Downtown Market, Love’s makes their own ice cream and gelato using local ingredients whenever possible. In addition to scooping dairy-based ice cream, Loves offers a variety of vegan flavors like Amaretto Cherry and Lavender Blueberry. If you’re having a hard time deciding, consider a flight of ice cream, which includes a sampling of up to five flavors. 

Love’s also offers an array of fine chocolate confections like small-batch caramels, toffee, and bonbons.

Fun fact: Love’s is one of several Grand Rapids-area establishments participating in Flights of Flavor. Download the free pass, check in at participating restaurants, and earn points toward free merch or charitable donations.

Nantucket Baking Company

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Nantucket Baking Company uses traditional methods and attention to craft their baked goods. The bakery offers a regular menu of croissants, tortes, cookies, brownies, and bars as well as slices of cheesecakes, cakes, and pies. For GR residents, Nantucket Bakery has been a popular source for custom orders, including vegan and gluten-sensitive options.  

Nantucket Baking has two locations: its original location on Lyon Street in the heart of Heritage Hill and another on Fuller Avenue.

Sweetland Candies

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Sweetland Candies
Sweetland Candies - Swizzle Sticks

Locals love Sweetland’s handmade seafoam, turtles, truffles, creams, cordials, clusters, barks and other chocolatey treats.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids (taken by Bree Girard)

Sweetland Candies is a fourth-generation family confectioner launched in Grand Rapids in 1919, and it has stood the test of time; locals still rave about Sweetland’s many handmade treats, including seafoam, turtles, truffles, creams, cordials, clusters, barks and more.

The company operates two local stores – one in Grand Rapids and one in Rockford – each offering a selection of sweets, specialty coffees, teas and ice cream beverages, which you can enjoy on site or grab and go. Boxed chocolates, baskets and towers are popular gift items that any chocolate lover is sure to enjoy.

Koeze has been making gourmet chocolates, including chocolate-covered pecan turtles, dipped fruit and nuts, and other sweet treats since 1910.

This family-owned company is also well known for its gourmet nuts and handcrafted peanut butter.

The Salted Cupcake

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The Salted Cupcake
The Salted Cupcake - Death by Chocolate

Fun Fact: The Salted Cupcake has 220 cupcake flavors in their recipe book!

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids (taken by Bree Girard)

Almond Joy. Bacon Chocolate Chip. Chicken and Waffles. Fried Oreo. Gin and Tonic. Key Lime Pie. Nutella Cookie Butter. Peanut Butter Blossom.

These are just a few of the 220 cupcake flavors in The Salted Cupcake’s recipe book. Every week, it showcases 12 or so of them – including vegan and wheat-free selections – for in-store purchase. You can also special order any of the  200+ flavors in quantities of 24 of a kind.

Check The Salted Cupcake Facebook page for its weekly selection.

More Sweet Treats

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Rise Authentic Baking Co. Desserts
Five plates with assorted vegan desserts

All of Rise Authentic Baking Co's baked goods are gluten-free, soy-free and vegan!

Photo by Brian Craig for Experience Grand Rapids

You can never have too many sweet choices in life – so here are a few more local sugar-fix favorites:

Arnie’s Bakery. This family-owned bakery has been making cakes, cupcakes, tortes and other sweet treats in Grand Rapids since 1905 – goodies are available at the original West Side bakery location and at dozens of retailers across West Michigan.

Bostwick Bakery. This bakery has been a Grand Rapids staple for donuts, cookies, and other pastries in their Plainfield and Rockford locations. 

Cakabakery. An Uptown staple providing mouthwatering delights (including vegan and gluten-free options) to the Grand Rapids area since 2010. A second location in Holland caters to lakeshore residents and visitors.

Cindy's Donuts & Ice Cream. Located in Kentwood, Cindy's is a favorite among locals for their donuts and generous scoops of ice cream.

Kilwin’s. Both the Downtown and East Grand Rapids locations are justly famed for their hand-paddled Mackinac Island Fudge and “Original Recipe” ice cream in freshly-made waffle cones.

Lyon Street Café. Located in the Heritage Hill neighborhood, this neighborhood café offers a variety of fresh-made pastries and other baked goods to complement its high-quality beverages, sandwiches and charcuterie plates.

Mokaya Specialty Chocolates

Handpainted chocolates and picture-perfect desserts look almost too good to eat. (But eat them Grand Rapids does!)

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Mokaya. Mokaya has been handcrafting truffles, bonbons, pastries, chocolate bars, desserts, frozen treats, and more in its Uptown location since 2016. Their unique flavors – such as a dark chocolate Thai basil black pepper truffle – make Mokaya one of the sweetest and most unique shops in Grand Rapids.

Rise Authentic Baking Co. The cakes, cupcakes, pastries, dessert bars, and cookies at Rise are vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, and delicious.

Steenstra’s Royal Dutch Bakery. Dutch family recipes are the basis for the delicious pastries, donuts, cookies, cakes, and pies at this Grandville bakery.

Stickyfingers. Stickyfingers in the Eastown neighborhood is a whimsical candy and gift shop where you’ll find classic and unique treats for every taste.

Wealthy Street Bakery. This Uptown bakery features a rotating daily selection of fresh-baked muffins, cookies, scones, bars, Danishes, and more, including vegan and gluten-free options.

We’ve only just scraped the tip of a very large, very sugary iceberg when it comes to sweet treats in Grand Rapids/Kent County. Where will you go first to satisfy your next sugar craving?