Local business finds sweet spot in Anacortes

March 31, 2023 | News

Located at the entrance to Cap Sante Marina in Hut #4, BeachCastle Sweets is a small business serving up big flavors. This confectionary shop offers an innovative variety of delicious handmade chocolates and sweet treats to both locals and guests of Anacortes. Stepping into this shop, visitors can find everything from traditional chocolate bars and truffles to seasonal treats such as chocolate Easter bunnies and caramel apples.


Shannon Charnley is the owner and operator of BeachCastle Sweets. She keeps busy running all aspects of the business, managing everything from developing recipes and making products from scratch to overseeing the business’s marketing plan and budget.


But Shannon was not always in the chocolate-making business. She and her son moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2013 and shortly thereafter arrived in Anacortes in 2016. After spending some settling in this small seaside town, she was interested in getting involved with a local business.


“I had been looking to purchase a business for a while and had some chocolate experience from a high school job,” she shares. “I wanted a situation that would allow me to be home and more available to my son, who was growing up quickly.”


In mid-2019, Shannon purchased BeachCastle Sweets from its previous owner, who had run the business for 13 years. Since then, she has been diligently creating products from scratch, refining her recipes, and coming up with new ideas. “My customers are a great source of inspiration for new products as they share their ‘sweetest’ memories of their favorite treats,” she explains.

 Using Guittard chocolate as the base, Shannon makes all her products in a specially built commercial kitchen located at her home in Skyline. The list of homemade sweets is both extensive and mouth-watering, indicative of the amount of care and effort Shannon puts into each treat. “We strive to use the freshest most wholesome ingredients we can find,” she says. In addition to constantly creating new and innovative products and flavors, she pushes herself to learn more, both with treats and running a business.

“It has been amazing to be able to create and experiment with flavors as I hone my skills with online courses, especially during the pandemic,” Shannon says. “It has been a psychological experiment in marketing, and a lesson in banking, budgeting, and generally running your own business.”


As the season ramps up with more visitors to the area, BeachCastle Sweets is in a prime location to serve boaters and guests visiting the marina and downtown Anacortes. But for those not able to stop by her brick-and-mortar shop, visitors can find her products at the Anacortes and Bellingham farmers markets and Mount Vernon’s Valley Made Market.


What’s next for BeachCastle Sweets? For Shannon, she looks forward to innovating new recipes and remaining involved with and supporting the Anacortes community.

 “We hope we can be part of this community for a long time, grow this business and our connections, and give back as opportunities present themselves.”