One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"
Sunsites-Pearce, Arizona

A Happy Place to Make PeopleSmile. . .

January 2009

… is what Marcia Bothman calls her dream come true, the new “Sweet Treats” shop on Frontage Road next to Elias’ Auto in the Sunsites village. She and her husband, Bill, our local postmaster, bought the building in June 2008 and promptly set about painting it inside and out in bright, vibrant colors. The wonderful mix of aromas from the candies and fudges, the candles that look and smell like cinnamon buns and other treats, and the cookie, cake and bread mixes, clung to me for hours after I visited the other day.

Billy Lally happened by with her grandkids from Canada and they treated themselves to several chunks of various flavors of Marcia’s pièces de résistance – preservative free fudges made onsite in a large, commercial-grade “fudge pot”. During my visit, several other people dropped in to indulge a sweet tooth or to buy a candle for a friend’s birthday. The shop has been open since September and has obviously already become quite popular.

The Bothmans offer a mail order service for locals who want to send unique gift baskets to friends and relatives in or out of the area. Patrons can pick a basket, fill it with their choice of goodies and the Bothmans will wrap it with plastic, box it and take it over to the post office for mailing. Marcia tells me that even fudge travels quite nicely during cooler months.

Behind the counter are several rows of large jars filled with candies. Jelly Bellys, 20 kinds of black licorice, giant jawbreakers and the smallest jawbreakers in the world, and dozens of other candies Marcia sells by the pound. She also offers sugar-free chocolates. Bestselling of all the candies is “Black Kookaburra Licorice”.

Marcia usually stocks from 20 to 30 flavors of fudge. The most popular are chocolate and chocolate with nuts. She offers five flavors in sucrose free versions for diabetics, including chocolate and chocolate with nuts. Her preservative-free fudge keeps for about two weeks. Although not truly a fudge, she also makes a heavenly “Divinity”. A sweet-tart treat she makes onsite is granny smith apples dunked in still “molten” fudge, then rolled in candy sprinkles and finally drizzled with yet more fudge or caramel. Yum!

For those who wish to bake their own fresh cookies, cakes and breads, Marcia stocks a number of different mixes. She also sells whimsical cookie cutters by Ann Clark so you can make your own sweet treats in the shapes of penguins, saguaros, football helmets, baby carriages and many other designs.

Sometime after Chrismas the Bothmans will be installing a frozen yogurt machine. They also hope to one day add cold drinks such as iced coffees and sodas to their offerings.

Marcia and Bill Bothman have lived in the Sulphur Springs Valley for sixteen years and all three of their children graduated from Valley Union High School in Elfrida. Their youngest has just graduated from UofA with a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Law. His ultimate goal is to work for the F.B.I. Their daughter is married to a Border Patrol agent and their oldest lives in Oregon working in finance.

For eight years, Marcia ran the highly popular and successful Udder Delight goat milk soap shop in Old Pearce. Billy Lally, the resident who happened by when I dropped in to interview Marcia for this article, was Marcia’s very first customer at the Udder Delight, eleven or so years ago. What a happy, smile-inducing, serendipitous coincidence!