By Tara McCrillis | December 13, 2016 | Food & Drink
Today tennis, modeling, diplomacy, and chocolate for Maria Sharapova. Tomorrow, the world!
She’s been ranked #1 by the World Tennis Association five times, modeled for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and been a UN Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador (representing Chernobyl recovery). But Maria Sharapova has another title you might not know about: celebrity confectioner. She launched her candy company, Sugarpova, in 2012 with a line of gummy candies, then forayed into chocolates this year, partnering with Baron Chocolatier on a line estimated to make $20 million by 2018. We sat down with Sharapova when she delivered her line to The Sweet Factory in Henderson.
We’d expect a sports bar, or protein powder… but candy?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: This is really a passion project for me. We are very strict these days about the way we eat but all of us have a little sweet tooth and indulging is part of life.
We understand that Sugarpova is to become a lifestyle brand, with apparel and home goods. What’s the next step?
MS: Yes, definitely! But in terms of sweets, truffles are next for us, and a chocolate-covered gummy.
Do you have a lifelong love of sweets?
MS: When I was about 7 years old and we moved to the US, I went into one of these candy stores where they had all this selection, and I had just never seen anything like this in Russia. I used to pack a little bags and take it back to Russia for my friends. When I wanted to start a business, I thought of that memory.
Why have you chosen to partner with Baron Chocolatiers?
MS: Their products are all natural, non-GMO, and we are one of the few that are halal and kosher as well. I wanted Sugarpova to feel premium, since I was thinking of it as a souvenir for my friends.
Find Sugarpova at The Sweet Factory, Galleria at Sunset, 1300 W. Sunset Road, Henderson, and sugarpova.com.
PHOTO BY DENISE TRUSCELLO/WIREIMAGE