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Photo by Max Whittaker

Candy Curator

Want to feel like a kidult in a candy store? Then you need to pay a visit to Andy Paul at his downtown confectionery. Last December, the Stanford-educated former schoolteacher opened his eponymous venture Andy’s Candy Apothecary on the ground floor of 800 J Lofts, and we’ve been living the sweet life ever since. There, in front of a wall stacked to the ceiling with jars filled with everything from sour worms to Spanish gummies, Paul plays munchies matchmaker, marrying your childhood favorites with your grown-up palate. Love Starbursts? Meet their softer, superior Japanese cousin, Hi-Chew. Obsessed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Take a bite of Unreal’s version with no artificial flavors or preservatives. Hungry for Snickers? Try a handcrafted Double Dutch Sweets bar with Venezuelan dark chocolate and peanuts. Whether he’s tempting us with samples of Swedish Fish or rhubarb licorice, this candy man is sure to bring out the kidult in all of us. 1012 9th St. 905-4115. andyscandystore.com

Tirami-supreme
Since 2006, pastry chef Javier Aguirre has been pumping out tortes, truffles, cheesecakes and other heaven-sent treats at Divine Desserts, his shop in Loomis. But Aguirre’s masterpiece, Tiramisu La Bomba, is made exclusively for Skipolini’s Pizza in Folsom and Rocklin. The tiramisu is a fluffy, layered confection made with a decadently moist chocolate cake base, topped with a thick coffee cream and a layer of coffee-saturated ladyfingers, all harmonizing under a cloud-like mousse of mascarpone cheese. The entire assemblage is then blanketed in a glossy layer of rich and silky chocolate ganache, drizzled with white chocolate, rimmed with sliced almonds and topped with an edible white chocolate label to make a delectable, domed—and yes, quite possibly divine—delight. skipolinispizza.com

Home for Hometown Gifts
Hallmark moments can be lovely, but when you care enough to send the very best gifts—ones with a little more authentic Sacramento touch—make your way to Ladybug Ladybug. Shopkeeper Sheila Istvanick keeps a supply of greeting cards, artworks, jewelry, clothing, postcards and assorted other products crafted by local artisans throughout the midtown shop, from the front racks offering charming cards by area illustrators Casey Robin, Susanne George and Pamela Neal, to the shelves of children’s socks by Trumpette, to the walls lined with the eye-popping folk-meets-pop canvases of Folsom painter Emmanuel Archuleta. It’s easy to see why every time we step inside Ladybug Ladybug, we go loco for shopping local. 2512 J St. 594-7664. ladybugladybug.com

Paper Lion
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep Newt Wallace from his appointed rounds. Since 1947—when he purchased the Winters Express—the indefatigable 95-year-old has been hitting the streets every Wednesday for the weekly paper, delivering news of summer concerts at Rotary Park, water levels at Lake Berryessa, and bridge improvements over Putah Creek. And even though his son Charley now runs the publication, Newt has no intention of hanging up his carrier bag anytime soon, a feat that earned the former newsman a profile in The New York Times last year and will soon lead to a Guinness World Record for the oldest newspaper delivery person in the world (the title is currently held by a British gentleman eight months Newt’s junior). This is one man whose story is definitely worth the paper it’s printed on.


Photo by Ryan Donahue
Paw Prints
These days, furry residents at the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, which has been providing a haven for abandoned, injured or orphaned wild animals since 1963, can be seen channeling their inner Jackson Paw-llocks through the organization’s creative Art with Animals program. For $150 a session, you can watch as four-legged maestros like Henry the black bear and Misty the tiger put their stamp (and stomp) on a 16-by-20-inch canvas with colorful, nontoxic paint and create an abstract masterpiece for you to take home. How wild is that? 403 Stafford St. Folsom. 351-3527. folsom.ca.us

Dates to Remember
With signature dishes like the whiskey burger and the impeccably seared day boat scallops, it’s easy to overlook the bite-sized stuffed Medjool dates at Formoli’s Bistro. Don’t. Served atop elegant shoots of Delta-grown Belgian endive, these sweet, caramelized fruits—filled with creamy goat cheese and salty crumbles of house-cured pancetta—satiate just about every flavor craving. Your first date here will definitely lead to a second. 3839 J St. 448-5699. formolisbistro.com

Space-Age Wine

Photo by Max WhittakerSelf-serve isn’t just for yogurt shops anymore. Take, for instance, Vini Wine Bar, where two-ounce pours are doled out by the futuristic-looking Enomatic wine-serving machines, which you feed using prepaid “tasting cards” as passports to sample the Davis shop’s rotating variety of 72 local and imported offerings (Slovenian Furmint white wine, anyone?), each personally selected by owner Jeff Day. Most wines are also available by the bottle, too, so if you discover a vintage that you love, you can still order it the old-fashioned way. Pour it on. 611 2nd St. Davis. 530-756-5722. viniwinebar.com