Candies, Sweets, Parties & Treats!
Donelle Scinto-Toner opened up her sweet shop in January, 2014.
Donelle always had a sweet tooth. While growing up in Trumbull, her favorite candy was the Skybar, a chocolate bar with sections filled with peanut butter, caramel, chocolate cream and marshmallow. When hosting tea parties with her friends, Donelle would always make homemade dark and white chocolates and treats. Her love of sweets is something she shares with her husband Michael as well.
She hosted many a tea party in her home, where women wore hats and enjoyed finger sandwiches on fine china. This is something she enjoys doing at "Grandma's" where her patrons enjoy a similar experience.
She says, "My grandmother was the top salesperson in the fashion department of the old Howlands department store in downtown Bridgeport. She retired for a short time and then began her second career at 68-years-old. She was trained on the computer and worked at the Bridgeport Police Department for 20 years more, retiring at 89. She lived to be 101 years young! So this is my second career and I named it in honor of her."
Scinto-Toner was a longtime teacher in the Milford school system. Over the course of her career, she served as a classroom teacher, enrichment teacher for the gifted and talented, a library media specialist, wrote school music productions and started a drama club.
Planning events and entertaining comes second nature to her. She grew up in a fundraising household, and continues to keep alive that tradition through her business. Booking events for the Girl Scouts, Shriners, and others, along with supporting local causes, is the second part of her business plan.
I'm reaching out to the community and letting people know I'm there for them, she said.
My friends all knew my dream was to own my own business someday.
In addition to her homemade delights, (peanut brittle, almond pattie pies, coconut clusters, molds and dipped Oreo cookies, ) Donelle stocks her shelves with the best chocolates she knows: Lake Champlain Chocolates from Vermont and the world famous buttery smooth fudge from Mill Fudge Factory in Bristol, New Hampshire where her God-daughter's sister, Kristen, manages and creates.
Donelle says that the Mill Fudge Factory's fudge is not sickening sweet. It has a unique and pleasant flavor, with a buttery and creamy texture.
And of the Lake Champlain Chocolates, "They are the biggest and yummiest truffle ever! They're so delicious. They melt in your mouth."
Grandma Josie's also carries sugar free candy, gluten free candy, lactose free, peanut free, specialty ice cream, unique teas, gifts and more.
Having grown up close to the Monroe town line, Donelle said she was excited to choose Monroe for her first business location.
"I thought I'd bring a little fun to the area," she said. "Whenever you see candy, it's a fun and happy time."
**Some excerpts taken from The Monroe Patch, Bill Bittar, Jan. 14. 2014**