American treats arrive this side of the Atlantic

Bradley Spencer has just opened a shop in the Forum, Sheffield, called Blaze who specialize in American merchandise, particularly candy
Bradley Spencer has just opened a shop in the Forum, Sheffield, called Blaze who specialize in American merchandise, particularly candy
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DO YOU know your Kool Aid from your Twinkies?

Your Hersheys from you Tootsie Roll?

If American brands like these make you salivate then you may - believe it or not - be on the right side of the Atlantic pond.

A shop dedicated to selling American confectionery, cereals, drinks and all other US paraphernalia has opened in Sheffield.

Blaze, in the Forum on Division Street, will be the region’s first shop specialising in American goods. And it’s already a huge hit with Sheffield shoppers, according to owner Bradley Spencer, from Norfolk Park.

“We did £300 in just three hours on the first day,” said Bradley.

“Last Saturday we had as many as 27 people in the shop in one go, and it’s only a tiny space!”

Bradley stocks a range of US goods, such as Twinkies cereal, Tab Cola, Nerd sweets, Hershey’s chocolate bars and tooth-defying marshmallow fluff that you eat straight from the jar.

“I’m looking to sell more ranges, and I plan to expand the stock – but of course it all has to come over on a plane,” he said.

Despite Bradley’s fascination with US treats, the 27-year-old former Sheffield University student has never been Stateside.

“I’ve never been to America but I’m always pondering a business trip, and it’s really tempting to bring a load of stuff back with me,” he laughed.

Bradley’s passion for US goods started when he was a kid, watching American films and, latterly, through series such as Family Guy.

“American products are so familiar to people now through films and TV programmes – US brands have become cultural references for people in the UK,” he said.

“I also knew there weren’t any other shops in South Yorkshire or North Derbyshire selling this stuff.

“One person came into the shop the other day and said she had to travel to the Trafford Centre in Manchester to get things before I opened.”

Despite the slick shelving and fancy fridges, stocking dozens of imported American drinks, it took Bradley and his pals only three weeks to get the store ready for its first customers.

Now sweet-toothed Bradley is looking forward to a profitable future.

“The shop should do well – as long as I don’t eat it all myself,” he grinned.