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Sweet Life and Captain Coronado Now Open at the Ferry Landing

Captain Coronado and Sweet Life at the Coronado Ferry Landing. (The Coronado Times)

Rob Perales bought La Camisa in 2020 after managing the store for the 20 years prior. Since then, his spin on souvenir shops has brought something special to the Coronado Ferry Landing. He took a concept that had been a dime a dozen and turned it into something truly unique with a mixture of local partners and high-quality brands, and differentiated it in each one of his stores. The impression has been that once you’ve seen one souvenir shop, you’ve seen them all. However, Rob has broken this mold. has now celebrated 36 years at the Ferry Landing and the souvenir hot spot expanded with a sister store, on March 22, 2023. On April 4, 2024, Rob added another Ferry Landing treasure to his docket – Captain Coronado and Sweet Life! The new business moved into the former Raspado King space which was known for their shaved iced and desserts.

Rachel Hengst (CHS ’10 grad), who managed the addition of Coronado Mercantile, devoted her energy into the new concept as well — a process she calls crazy and exciting. Rachel describes the setup of the new duo of stores, “It’s a big space, split in half, connected by an archway. It’s all one open store, but each side has a very different vibe. One side is Sweet Life, which has candy and toys. It’s so cute, we’ve got fake sprinkles on the wall and it’s just very fun. The other side is Captain Coronado. We keep it different from our other souvenir spaces with new designs and options for adults and kids for clothing.”

Sweet Life

Sweet Life is the go-to place for children on the Ferry Landing. It features an extensive Paw Patrol collection, Hello Kitty stuffies, toys, games, and squishies. It is also a great pit stop for shoppers of all ages to dive into the nostalgia of candy options (Big Dippers, Big League Chews, King Cobra and more!) and pick up a quick ice cream to go. The store has Dundie Awards for lovers of The Office if you’re looking to add a little something to game night.

Captain Coronado

On the souvenir side, Rachel shares, “We are expanding on different brands. They may not be the most well known brands but ones that we feel are unique to the Ferry Landing. We have a jewelry brand, Cool Crystals, with really cute jewelry for preteens. We have a collection of which is high quality sunscreen, lotion and hand sanitizer.” Another Captain Coronado feature is the collection of California and San Diego totes, backpacks, and small purses.

Come on By!

In just the first two days of the stores being open, Rachel was thrilled with the response. “We’ve had a lot of people buying drinks and little snacks, stuff on the go. It’s going really well.”

On building out the dual shop, Rachel’s perspective is, “it’s best to just hit the ground running and get things open as quick as possible!” She adds that the sister store is also getting an expansion which is set to break ground the week of April 8th. It will be taking over the former Lilly Beauty Med Spa.

To Coronado, Rachel extends her thanks, “We’re grateful to the locals, the fact that they’ll come and check out a new place. A lot of people have come in to say they’ve been waiting to see what this is going to be.

When we took the paper down off the window, they’ve been excited and that’s been awesome. Tons of kids coming in to buy candy and toys, there isn’t really anything like it on the Ferry Landing. Coronado has the sugar shops uptown but nothing like this; it’s different, we don’t have a lot of the same stuff so it’s nice to round out the island a bit. People have been very sweet about coming to see it once we opened and I’m hoping they’ll come more. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great summer!”