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SweetBu Candy Co. owner Melissa Smith is often surrounded by the sweetest things in life.
Recently, however, the Malibu store’s gumdrops and lollipops met their match in a gesture by an area 7-year-old.
Ruby Karlov, of Santa Monica, came to her beloved candy shop Dec. 1 with $25 worth her hard-earned allowance money, plus another $25 donated by her mom, Leah Karlov, to cover the cost of candy for children affected by the Woolsey Fire.
“It was heartwarming and sweet,” Smith said. “It’s been so very sad here ... it’s nice to see people on the outside that are wanting to help and wanting to do something nice for their peers.”
Ruby’s contribution has inspired others to chip in, too, Smith added, as the store had already received another $100 from community members who caught wind of the donation through the business’ Facebook post. The Karlovs also have received additional donations.
“It feels great that everyone has followed,” said Ruby, who added that “others could donate, too.”
With the donated funds, Smith said she plans to let local children pick something out, but Ruby also had some stipulations of her own, according to Smith.
“She even said to me, ‘Don’t let anyone take too much, you don’t want them to get sick,’” Smith said.
The notion of giving has been instilled in Ruby since she began receiving an allowance a couple years ago, Leah explained, as she has three separate jars: one for spending, one for saving and one for giving. In the past, Ruby has dipped into her giving jar to donate to local dog rescue organizations, Leah said, and the $25 she gave to SweetBu represented many weeks’ worth of savings.
“She’s always had a tremendous heart and she’s very generous and very giving, but she took a lot of money out of her allowance jar to put smiles on kids’ faces,” a proud Leah said.
The Karlovs came to know SweetBu during frequent surfing trips and summer visits to Malibu, explained Leah, and Ruby became a familiar face at the local sweets shop.
“There’s so many sweet smells and it makes me feel kind and happy, and it feels kind of cool to be in this candy shop right after surfing,” said Ruby, of what she liked about SweetBu.
The Trancas Country Market business was to reopen for the first time since the Woolsey Fire on Dec. 8, which also was its one-year anniversary. For several weeks after the fire, the business was without electricity, Smith explained, and an ice cream cooler in the shop melted, damaging the floor. Now, with the floor resurfaced and damaged goods restocked, Smith looked forward to again opening her doors to her neighbors.
“We’ve got to support our local businesses now more than ever,” Smith said.
SweetBu will be open from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Sunday, with plans for holiday happenings in the works. Smith encouraged customers to stay tuned to SweetBu’s Instagram (@sweetbucandy) and Facebook (@sweetbucandyco) for additional details.