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Friday, September 20, 2019

Sweet Tooth Candies owners in Newport to retire after 50 years

Update: 2:57 p.m.

Owner Bob Schneider confirmed that retirement is definitely happening for he and his wife, Norma, but they are reviewing other options that would allow Sweet Tooth Candies to stay open.

"It's a long and complicated process, but we wanted to let our employees and customers know that we're headed toward retirement," said Schneider. "With that goal in mind, we've been doing this since I grew up. We've worked our elbows off."

Earlier reports from employees indicated that a closure was on the horizon, but Schneider says he hopes to avoid that.

The article's headline has been corrected to reflect the new comments. New information will be updated in a new article.


A bittersweet ending for a long-time small business has many fans reeling.

Sweet Tooth Candies (125 W. 11th St.) in Newport, Kentucky and owners Bob and Norma Schneider, 83 and 77, will begin their retirement journey. Employees told Fort Thomas Matters that the couple has told them they will close, but gave them no specific date when operations will cease.

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They opened the location in 1969.

Since there is no date for their final closure, there is still time to grab their famous chocolate turtles, caramel apples or ice balls. Employees confirmed that ownership had communicated their plans to retire and close without a succession plan.

Schneider's, located in Bellevue, Kentucky, will remain open.

The Schneider family has been making their small-batch chocolate recipe for over a hundred years.

Everything is made in a small factory on Saratoga Street and served in the West 11th Street storefront, where shelves are lined with colorfully wrapped treats and gold-leaf boxes.

Sweet Tooth has roughly 10 employees who do everything from serving up ice cream on hot summer nights to hand-wrapping flavored chocolate eggs in preparation for Easter.

Monika Kenney has work at Sweet Tooth Candies for 30 years. She works primarily at the candy shop on 11th Street but has put in plenty of hours at the factory and knows the ins and outs of the Sweet Tooth business.

In three decades, there is one thing she hasn’t done: make the chocolate.

“Nobody makes candy except the boss,” Kenney says, referring to the “candy man” himself, Robert Schneider Jr. “He makes it all, the chocolates and all of his flavors for the ice balls, plus the toppings like chocolate syrup.”

Easter and Christmas are, understandably, the busiest candy seasons at Sweet Tooth Candies, but summer brings in the ice cream crowd from all over the tristate. Kenney describes it as a home base for Northern Kentuckians who have moved away: “They come back when they’re in town and they’re happy we’re still here.”

Liz McEwan/NKY Thrives contributed to this article. 


  1. I grew up 2 doors down from the Sweet Tooth!! I have made many many trips to the Sweet Tooth for their great treats. One of my greatest memories was to watch Mr Bob stand in the front window of the shop and make fudge in that huge silver pot!! I moved away from Newport and eventually across the river to Ohio but I have continued to make the drive and visit the Sweet Tooth many time over the years!!!!
    Congratulations to the Schneider’s on their retirement, many thanks to you for the sweets and treats you have made over the past 50 years!! God Bless you both on the next journey of your life!! You definitely will be missed ❤️

  2. I understand you wanting to live your lifes but hope you can trust someone to keep it going while you travel love that place with everything leaving nothing left from my childhood ice balls and the syrup is the greatest candy is best

  3. I worked at the Brighton Center Central Avenue location in the early 80's. I remember several occasions when the Schneiders generously donated post-holiday sweets for us to distribute to needy families and provided divine fudge for us to sell for fund raising at the annual Appalachian Festival. They will be missed.

  4. Oh my I have been coming there since I was a child I used to get the ice balls with the grape on it and double because it was just so much fun to have purple lips , I'm going to miss you guys so much and hope you enjoy your retirement may the Lord be with you in
    every journey you take