Where did all the kids usually go after school? And even sometimes before school? Well, heck, even when there wasn’t any school, like summers and night time?

Friend’s house?
Boyfriend or girlfriend rendezvous?
Ball park?
Or even (egad)…..home?

No, man…none of those places make it. We all went and hung out at Spadafore’s party store. Before it became a party store in the 60s, it was the Sweet Shop, with a soda fountain, counter stools, and homemade ice cream treats and soda pop made with real soda syrup and carbonated water.

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When the fountain, countertop, and stools were removed, the store was revamped into a place that became even more of a teen hangout. It wasn’t intentional – it just turned out that way.

Spadafore’s – or “Spat’s” as we nicknamed it – had literally everything kids and teens wanted and needed back in the day.
A Wide Variety of Candy
Chips & Snacks

Comic Books
Current hit singles
Monster Magazines

Vinyl Rock ‘n Roll Record Albums
Teen and Music Magazines

The soda pop they kept in stock were names we can’t find anymore: Nehi, Teem, NuGrape, Mason’s Root Beer, Hi-Klas, Bubble Up, Kickapoo Joy Juice, Tab, Diet-Rite and many others.

And balls of bubble gum: Sour Grape, Sour Apple, Sputnik…all enclosed, each one unwrapped inside a box. That's how it was…we just grabbed what we wanted, paid a penny for it, and popped it into our mouth.
Forget the wrapper.....wrappers were for wimps and suckers.

One of the hot snack items was cheese corn…EVERY kid seemed to be munching on those throughout town. We hung out in front of the store eyeing the opposite sex, paper boys would get their bundles in front of the store, and it was an easy place to meet. To see and be seen at Spadafore’s was what it was all about.

Paul Spadafore came to America from Italy in the early 1920s and settled in Michigan. After a few other business efforts, he journeyed to Stockbridge and found the perfect building for a business – right downtown on Clinton Street.

The shop opened in 1928 as a produce store; it wasn’t until around 1940 when Paul put in a soda fountain, countertop, and stools and turned it into the Sweet Shop. Paul and his wife Jenny lived in the apartment above the shop and finally bought their own house on S. Woods Street in 1942.

Paul and his sons Paul Jr. and Frank ran the shop until it finally closed in the 1990s. That great memorable laugh of Paul Sr. has been missed ever since. He passed away in 2000 at the age of 95.

The sad part is – there will never be another place like Spadafore’s. The ever-changing times and cultural atmosphere has seen to that. But for those of us who had the good fortune to grow up in Stockbridge during that time when Spadafore’s shop helped mold even the shakiest kid, we will retain the good memories, friendships and love that bloomed just inside & outside that front door…

Spadafore's Sweet Shop, Stockbridge


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