Who among us would turn down a job working with candy all day? Certainly not this sweet tooth. Although that type of job is little more than a fantasy for most people, candy has in fact turned into a career for Kristina Lau. Although she is technically the owner/operator of downtown Fargo’s Yeobo Sweet Shop, the NDSU graduate prefers the moniker “Candy Queen,” “Sweet Slayer,” or “Chief Confections Creator.”A self-proclaimed sweet tooth, Kristina has a long history with candy. “You could find it in my purse, in my car, or in a whole bin in the pantry of my house,” she said. Already the owner of Bakeology, which sells traditional and gluten-free cakes and cupcakes, Kristina couldn’t shake the vision of adding candy to her business. After attending the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago (who knew there was such a thing and why haven’t I attended?), she knew there was something to her sugary dreams. In April, Yeobo became a reality.
Yeobo Sweet Shop is located in the back of Unglued and features a wall of 60 different types of gummy candies with a shelf of lollipops, chocolates, and other fun treats as well. Gummies have always been one of Kristina’s favorite candies. “There are so many varieties: chewy, sweet, sour, spicy, or creamy — something for everyone!” she exclaimed. “We try to feature candies you can’t find anywhere else in town — hot pepper gummies, dino doo, champagne bears, fruit slices, funky blobs, crunch bears, and candy sushi.”
You might be wondering where the business’ unique name originates. Yeobo is a Korean term of endearment meaning “sweetheart” or “honey.” Kristina spent time in South Korea during college, and that is where her husband proposed. “Yeobo is a name I often call him,” she said.
Kristina wishes that Yeobo will become much more than just a place to buy candy. “I hope that my candy store will bring new traditions and sweet memories to those that come and visit, both residents and tourists,” she said. “I love seeing kids come in and get excited about all the fun candies. The look on their faces as they pull out a three foot rattlesnake or giant coke bottle makes my day.”
Despite the obvious attraction for the young, Yeobo is not a candy store for kids only. “We have a lot of downtown business people that come in for a ‘sweet break’ or as a team building activity,” Kristina explained. In other words, you don’t need an excuse to visit.
Candy lovers can choose from three bag sizes: “sweet tooth fix” (small), “just right” (medium), or “candy addict” (large). Mix and match as you see fit and pay just $0.67/oz. Kristina vows that visitors can expect to find something new every time they come to her store.
Yeobo updates their inventory regularly and will have special limited-edition holiday varieties soon. “We have a lot of ideas for making Fargo sweeter,” Kristina said. The Sweet Shop is located at 408 N Broadway. More information can be obtained at yeobo.co.
By Jamee Larson