Style Tastemaker

Sister Act

A family business finds the sweet spot


Proving that you can mix business with pleasure, sisters Sheila Vinacco, Mary Lada and Ann Ross own one of Rhode Island’s favorite shopping destinations, East Greenwich’s Sweet Twist. From sweet treats to trendy fashion tricks, here’s what the trio had to say about October’s offerings.

Sweet Twist has been a mainstay in East Greenwich for 21 years. Tell us how you got started.
Sweet Twist was started in 1994 by Sheila as a handmade chocolate company. The company started with a small licensed kitchen and storefront on Division Street. As the demand for the unique chocolate treats grew, Sheila was joined by her sisters, Mary and Ann, in 2003. Together we purchased the current 3,000 sq ft location at 5707 Post Road. Responding to customer requests, Sweet Twist has transformed over the years into a full service gift store featuring our own chocolates, jewelry, accessories and gifts. We are beyond grateful for the continued support from our family, friends and our very loyal customers.

You had a major renovation two years ago. Tell us more.
We were lucky enough to have the input of a very talented interior design class at RISD under the direction of teacher/ designer Nancy Laurienzo. These amazing students inspired us to make our longtime vision a reality. As a result, Sweet Twist is so proud to have won the Retailer Excellence Award, REA Award, presented by Gifts and Decorative Accessories Magazine. Sweet Twist was also selected out of four finalists in the US and Canada for best store design.

What sort of promotions do you offer for your customers?
We are constantly offering various promotions throughout the year. In the summer, we offer Thank You Thursdays, which is a free gift with any $20 purchase, and Tasting Tuesdays where customers are invited to try the latest from our Chocolatier Kristen Wolfenden. Various sales and specials are posted on both Facebook and Twitter. We just implemented a customer reward program which gives customers $5 toward their next purchase for every $100 they spend. The holidays are filled with special events featuring some of our top product lines such as John Medeiros, Luca & Danni, Kameleon, Brighton, Vera Bradley and more!

What types of trends are you seeing this fall?

We are seeing a continuation of the trend towards state pride. The Home T has been a big hit, wine glasses and cutting boards featuring the image of Rhode Island. Customers also love to support local companies such as John Medeiros, Luca & Danni, Noon Designs, Liberty Pewter, Alex & Ani, Henrietta Glass, Loren Hope, Narragansett Sea Glass and of course Sweet Twist chocolates. In jewelry we are seeing the trend leaning more towards dainty pieces with a meaning attached, like Luca & Danni and B.U. In accessories ponchos are hot and scarves, gloves and hats always make a great gift. We have some wonderful new accessories from UGG due in any day that we are very excited about.

What are some accessories you recommend to transition from summer to fall?

Transitioning from summer to fall in New England can be tricky, as we all know. It is all about layering and a great scarf, poncho or warm bulky sweater is the perfect way to guard against those crisp fall days. Splurging for a new handbag or work tote is also a way to perk up your fall wardrobe. A classic long necklace, new studs or a great bangle can easily go from day to evening.

Besides fashion, this is also the month for candy. What’s in store at Sweet Twist for Halloween?
Halloween is filled with a wide variety of spooky treats like chocolate-covered marshmallow mummies and monsters! Our chocolate covered Oreo’s and Rice Krispies treats are decorated with ghoulish characters, perfect for that special trick or treater. We also start to transition into more fall flavors like Pumpkin and Apple Pie Fudge, Pumpkin Truffles and of course our signature Chocolate/Caramel Dipped Apple.

Sweet Twist
5707 Post Road, East Greenwich


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