NANCY SWEET OWNER of Sweet’s Stuff

MELROSE — In the heart of Melrose, there existed a magical place that transcended the ordinary, a store named Sweet’s Stuff, cared for by Nancy Sweet and her husband, Ed. Beyond the shelves of sports memorabilia, stacks of baseball cards and the allure of penny candy, this establishment was a cornerstone of our community for over 25 years, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of generations, where weekly visits became a cherished tradition for many Melrose families.

Nancy brought her warmth and charm to Melrose after marrying Ed in 1979 and settling on Cass St. where they later welcomed their daughter Nicole. Nicole, an integral part of the Melrose community and a proud member of the Melrose High School graduating class of 2000.

Sweet’s Stuff wasn’t merely a shop but a sanctuary of joy and connection. Nancy knew the desires of countless children who frequented the store, memorizing not only their names but also their favorite penny candies. In the words of a local, “Walking into Sweet’s Stuff as a kid was like walking into your really cool grandparents’ garage, but there was lots of CANDY and cards and comics and toys. Nancy taught us all how to budget, to maximize those small brown bags and always did it while smiling.” (Mike Snow)

The impact of Sweet’s Stuff extended beyond childhood, becoming a lifelong memory for those who experienced it. As one parent reflects, “Our boys saved their allowance to buy candy and baseball cards. At age five, my son’s best friend would come too and buy cards for the love of the game, but our son was in it for investment purposes. He still has all those cards today, age 27! Not sure if they are worth anything, but those sweet moments of visiting Sweet’s Stuff are priceless.” (Kathleen McGourthy)

A community member shared “Nancy Sweet will forever be known affectionately as the Candy Lady from Sweet’s Stuff. Some may remember going in to buy memorabilia or to discuss baseball cards, but for me it was a weekly private math lesson. Nancy’s penny candies were a way to make sure even the most economical household could splurge with their sweet tooth. For me, always struggling with mathematics, a visit to Sweet’s Stuff meant trying to keep track of pennies. Although her husband, Ed was the math teacher, it was Nancy Sweet who had the patience of a saint. She’d quietly count the candies with me and then ask how I thought I did. We both knew I couldn’t do arithmetic to save my life, but at least with that question I could save myself and ask to put some stuff back. She respected all of her clients, no matter their age, torn jackets or fancy shoes; and treated us all with the same friendly banter.” (Rachel Emelock)

This sentiment echoes in the hearts of those who remember her fondly.

Though Sweet’s Stuff doors have closed, the legacy of Nancy Sweet lives on. To honor her memory and the impact she had on our community, Nicole and her husband Adam have lovingly established a scholarship through the Melrose High School Permanent Scholarship Fund, The Nancy “Sweet’s Stuff” Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded each year to a student who demonstrates kindness by going above and beyond to help those in need, who is active in Melrose community activities and who has shown perseverance in the face of adversity. And perhaps they enjoy eating candy too.

This scholarship will support a student from the graduating class of Melrose High School pursuing post-secondary education. If you wish to contribute to the scholarship fund and continue Nancy’s legacy, please visit mhsfund.org. Your support will ensure that Nancy’s legacy lives on, positively impacting the future generations of Melrose.

As we remember Nancy Sweet and Sweet’s Stuff, let us carry forward the lessons of joy, generosity and community that she so beautifully embodied.