If you are like us and have always dreamed of entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, then we have just the place for you.
Sugar Republic is a pop up “candy museum” where local Melbourne artists and creative have collaborated on elaborate displays themed around iconic Aussie sweets.
Sugar Republic is in the former MacRobertson’s confectionary factory on Smith Street Collingwood, where Fredo Frogs and Cherry Ripes were once made. There are twelve dessert-filled sensory rooms, from a larger than life gum ball machine (that you can crawl inside), to the ultimate bubblegum ball pit.
The place is an Instagrammers dream with every wall painted a different vibrant candy color using Taubmans New Endure paint, which are all named after desserts. It’s hard to not want photos at every turn. Artwork collaborations include works by Caroline Khoo, Sara Borg, Dawn Tan, Merrin Dorothy and Kate Pullen.
We particularly liked the attention to detail of each space. The giant cake room included a button that would spray confetti down onto you, while the “white room” had a beautiful arrangement of flowers and foliage that must have been spray-painted to match the space. The neon sign wall was also very cool.
Along the way you will get small sample sizes of some soft serve ice cream, sherbet, a mini-lamington or biscuit and fairy floss. Don’t come expecting to gorge yourself on sugar as there isn’t really that much to eat – it’s all about the pretty photos. The whole experience will take you around one hour, though the staff don’t rush you through so you could take your time.
Sugar Republic is open for a very limited time. Tickets must be purchased online in advance as they do sell out.
Tomas Zagoda is a filmmaker, writer, coffee addict and tall person who does not play basketball. You can follow him @TomasZagoda.
The venue is accessible, though some activities may not be suitable for everyone.