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Food and Drink

29th Aug 2022

Iconic Belfast sweet shop closes after almost 50 years in business

Fiona Frawley

old fashioned sweet shop with several jars of sweets lined up on shelves behind the counter

The Queens Arcade store has been in business since 1973, when it was opened by brothers Henry and Sean McKay.

McKay’s, a family-run sweet shop in the heart of Belfast closed its doors for good over the weekend, after 47 years of serving popular old fashioned sweets to generations of locals and people visiting the city.

The shop sold a range of classic sweets by 100g weight, with an extensive selection including bonbons, toffees, boiled sweets, rock, fudge, clove rock and brandy balls.

Earlier this month, the McKay’s team announced their closure on Facebook, writing: “We are closing our shop at the end of this month, after 47 years of the McKay family trading in Belfast city centre, thank you to all our customers over the years.”

People who had visited and even worked at the shop over the years took to the comments sharing memories, with the general consensus being the closure signified the “end of an era”.

One person wrote: “Glad I visited your shop last Saturday and purchased my favourite sweets. My late father would have brought me Dolly Mixtures home every Friday when his working week ended”.

Another said: “The shop has always been a huge part of Belfast city centre.. no visit to town was complete without a bag of chocolate toffee rolls”.

The McKay’s team added: “we have lots of great memories for us as a family and we have met lovely staff who have became good friends and lovely customers who we see as friends also”.

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