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Sweet Dreams Confections undergoing a tasty expansion just in time for the holidays

Located inside the Village West Shopping Center along 13th Avenue South, Sweet Dreams Confections is planning to expand into the adjacent retail space. The candy store, which bills itself as North Dakota's largest, will be bigger and better than before. “It’ll just be expanded all the way around,” co-owner Lee Paseka said.

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Lee Paseka is the owner of Sweet Dreams Confections in the Village West Shopping Center in south Fargo. They will be expanding to the space adjacent to them.
Chris Flynn / The Forum
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FARGO — A beloved Fargo small business is planning to get a whole lot sweeter.

Sweet Dreams Confections is currently in the process of expanding into an adjacent space in the Village West Shopping Center along 13th Avenue South in Fargo. According to city permit records, the expansion will add 2,400 square feet to the long-running candy shop’s footprint.

Even as a well-established business, co-owner Lee Paseka said he’s always seeking ways to improve Sweet Dreams Confections. “If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still,” Paseka told The Forum. “I never stand still.”

Paseka is going on his 47th year in business in September. His enterprise began in north Fargo, where he opened Lee’s Floral Party Place and Fudge Factory. He operated there for 30 years before relocating to 4101 13th Ave. S.

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A variety of fudge in a display case at Sweet Dreams Confections on Aug. 16, 2022.
Chris Flynn / The Forum

In addition to offering a lunch menu, Sweet Dreams Confections carries chocolate candies, Pride of Dakota products and homemade gelato. When he relocated the business, it was just a “basic, mom-and-pop shop,” though he joked it’s now a “grandma-and-grandpa” shop. When the adjacent space became available, Paseka decided it was the right time to expand.

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More space will mean Sweet Dreams Confections can expand on its existing product lines and add new ones as well. For example, Paseka said they’ll be adding more candies and old-fashioned soda pops. They’ll also carry nostalgic toys, puzzles and other gift items. “It’ll just be expanded all the way around,” he said.

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What won’t change, however, is the atmosphere of the store, Paseka elaborated. “It’ll be basically the same concept,” he said. “It has everything that you always wanted and you’ll always have fun when you come in because it smells good, looks good, tastes great, the whole nine yards. There’ll just be more of that.”

Also helping matters is the fact that Heather Klein, Paseka’s daughter who grew up in the business, is back on board full-time. Paseka anticipates she will take over operations when he and his wife Brenda decide it’s time to hang up their aprons. “She wants to stay in the family business so I’m just trying to set it up so she can continue,” he said. “She wants to stay on and hopefully take over for me.”

Even after 47 years as Fargo’s resident Willy Wonka, Paseka said he’s still passionate about his job. “I’ve been at it a long, long time and so our name is established in town and people know us. They like the concept that we’re probably one of the few mom-and-pop small business types that’s left in the area. It’s something we really love to do. It’s not even work,” he remarked. “If you work every day and you enjoy it, it isn’t really work.”

If all goes right, the Sweet Dreams Confections expansion will be completed in October, just in time for the holiday season. Shoppers can expect to find the same fudge, candies, gelato and more of what they’ve come to love over the decades. “There are treasures at every turn and there will just be more of it,” Paseka concluded.


GALLERY: Step inside Sweet Dreams Confections

Thomas Evanella is a reporter for The Forum. He's worked for The Forum for over three years, primarily reporting on business news. He's also the host of the InForum Business Beat podcast, which can be streamed at InForum.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Reach him at tevanella@forumcomm.com or by calling 701-241-5518. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEvanella.
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