Undergraduate Programs

Eight Places to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Near Clarkson

Hi Everybody! I’m Jacob McNamara, a Clarkson grad of ‘16. I’m from Madrid, NY which is just ten miles down the road from Clarkson. Since I grew up in the North Country-I’m going to share some of my favorite places to go, things to see and some ongoing tips for thriving up North. In this post I’m going to be covering some of my favorite places to grab some sweets near the Potsdam campus. Let’s take a look!

A formal portrait of post author and Clarkson alumnus Jacob McNamara.

An outdoor photo of Sweet Margaret, a bakery in downtown Potsdam, New York.

Sweet Margaret Potsdam, NY

A photo of one of the bakery displays at Sweet Margaret in Potsdam, New York showcasing macarons, sweet treats and Asian specialties.

A look at their ‘Potsdam Sandstone’ storefront

If you’re looking for a unique set of sweet and baked options, Sweet Margaret Dessert & Bubble Tea shop is the place for you. In 2020 they moved to Potsdam but have been serving macarons, savory breads, pork belly buns and more since 2017. Don’t forget to grab a Boba tea or a milk smoothie to go with your order! Sweet Margaret is open Tuesday-Saturday, Noon until 6pm, located at the corner of Main and Market.

Half Dozen Bakery Madrid, NY

A gem of a bakery in one of the finest of towns (though I may be a little biased living down the road). Half Dozen Bakery provides home baked goods and a specialty coffee and latte selection. I’m partial to their lemon bars and their bacon-egg-onion biscuit. Keep an eye out for their sister bakery truck ‘Anastasia’s’ at farmer markets’ and nearby summer events also!

A photo of the outside of 3 Bears Gluten-Free Bakery and Cafe in downtown Potsdam, New York.

3 Bears Gluten Free Bakery & Café Potsdam, NY

3 Bears is the North Country’s only gluten free bakery! Any of their cookies, brownies, breads and cakes are all 100% free of gluten. 3 Bears also serves a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner. With delicious sandwiches, pizza, wings and more-they are sure to have something to sate your appetite. Grab a beverage while you’re there with their fruit smoothies or have a beer or cider with your meal. 3 Bears also makes sweets for special occasions so be sure to reach out to them for all your gluten free needs!

A photo of the outside of Scoops ice cream shop in downtown Potsdam, New York.


Potsdam, NY

A newly renovated Potsdam classic, Scoops is a walk-up style ice cream stand in the heart of downtown. Nestled next to the movie theater their sign boasts “Shakes, Ice Cream, Splits” but they are sure to offer much more in the hot summer months. They offer hard ice cream products by Byrne Dairy and soft serve by Hood. Across the street from the stand is a local Clarkson fraternity Zeta Nu.

Cindy’s Cake Shop Canton, NY

A photo of the staff at Cindy's Cake Shop in Canton, New York in front of the business' sign.

For special order cakes and confectioneries there are few better places to go than Cindy’s Cake Shop. Whether it’s a roommate’s birthday or an end of the semester party you can’t go wrong placing an order here. Specializing in wedding, graduation and holiday cake creations-make sure to give them a call if you have an upcoming event that needs an extra sweet centerpiece.

Stewart's Shops logo

Stewart’s Shops

Potsdam, Canton…

“Hey are you going to Stewart’s?” Was a common question when heading down from campus into town. With a dessert bar stocked with their signature ice cream you can also get pizza, iced/hot coffee and a variety of to-go food items. Their sundae kit makes for an easy addition to any event, and their 24/7 operation makes them a prime location for last-minute groceries too. Stewart’s are fondly known as ‘more than just a gas station’ locally so swing by and pick up what you need when you get the chance.

A photo of the outside of the building at SUNY Potsdam that houses Cookies, Cream & Co., where sweet treats can be found.

Cookies, Cream & Co. SUNY Potsdam

This is a nice little spot that could be easily overlooked. My twin brother, who went to SUNY Potsdam, let me know about this campus feature of our neighbors across town. Nestled in the Barrington Student Union is a shop where you can satisfy your sweet cravings-or just indulge in a second breakfast. They offer custom made milkshakes, ice cream sundaes and a variety of smoothies made to order. A selection of specialty cakes and pies is there to choose from as well. This place is usually pretty busy near the end of each semester, mostly full of students trying to use up the last of their campus credit before heading home. A mostly unknown for most non-SUNY students but definitely worth checking out! 

Jernabi / Sugar Valley Bakery Potsdam, NY

A photo of the outside of Jernabi Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar, focused on the business logo.

This two-in-one business is found on Fall Island in Potsdam. Jernabi boasts locally sourced coffee, tea and espresso along side baked goods produced by Sugar Valley Bakery. They have space to study, chat and enjoy whatever tasty treats you grabbed inside. Jernabi collaborates with other businesses in Potsdam to occasionally offer different goods. They have also previously been a host for Clarkson’s ‘Science Café’- a series of talks where research scientists and university professors share their research and discoveries with the community.

Wherever you pick to get your sweet fix from, enjoy exploring the nearby communities and businesses. You may find a new favorite spot or make some friends in the process! Keep an eye out for a second course of blogs featuring local restaurants and dinner spots.


  1. Are any of these sweet shops dairy free or offer any dairy free items?
    It’s nice that there is a gluten free place nut dairy free is needed too.

    1. Hi there!

      There definitely are dairy free options at some of these shops. I know that 3 Bears will sometimes offer dairy free selections in their bakery. Also the Potsdam Food Co-op has lots of specialty foods including dairy-free and vegan deli/grocery options. Your comment inspires me to make another food blog post, only focusing on local places that cater to a variety of dietary preferences!

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