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Economy Candy

Feeling a dearth of candy in our office yesterday and being a nice warm autumn day for a walk, two of us decided to make a pilgrimage to Economy Candy at 108 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side. The family-owned business occupies an entire 3-story building (click here for more photos), the ground floor for retail and the upper floors for custom packages and managing their online business.

Jerry Cohen runs the store with his wife Ilene and son Mitchell. One if Jerry’s smartest moves was buying the building they’re in – good insurance against the rapidly escalating rents in NYC. I had the good fortune of meeting Jerry and his wife – they were extremely friendly and accommodating. The visit was an experience of classic old New York City. From their website:

“When Jerry Cohen’s father opened Economy Candy in 1937, it was a typical corner candy store of its day. Bulk bins full of colorful hard candies enticed youngsters with their panorama of choices. Guys could buy their dolls a heart-shaped box of chocolates when they had trouble expressing themselves in words. Barrels in the back yielded a geography lesson of nuts from around the world. The hard times of the Depression were easing up, the grim specter of war-to-come wasn’t yet hovering over American shores, and television was a scientific marvel that was unlikely to have any practical commercial application.”

They have built a reputation on pricing and selection (they have hundreds of kinds of chocolates, candies, nuts, dried fruits, halvah, and sugar-free candy), but what is particularly enticing to me are the nostalgia favorites. Nearly all the candies of my childhood are there, products that are virtually impossible to find anywhere else and certainly not all in one place. Skybars, Squirrel Nut Zippers, candy cigarettes, candy buttons, Nik-L-Nip, Necco Wafers, Chuckles, Charleston Chew, Jolly Ranchers, Good and Plenty, Smores, Jaw Busters, Milk Duds, Bit-O-Honey, Sugar Daddy, Pez, wax lips, and the controversial Chocolate Babies. Hey, do you want to make your own authentic New York Egg Cream? They have Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup by the gallon…

9 Responses to Economy Candy

  1. I love this place! My boyfriend is from the UK (inherently born with a sweet tooth) and the first time we walked in here he looked like he literally died and went to heaven.

    The Smores in the back of the cash registers are to die for!

  2. Ho! la! la! je m’aperçois que cette boutique est située à quatre blocks de l’endroit où vit mon fils (Attorney Street). Encore une adresse à noter ! Pour Noël, ils doivent avoir beaucoup de friandises ! Claudine

  3. Check out Hams london daily photo blog. He’s gone for premium candy. I know i’d prefer economy!

  4. Keropok Man says:

    oh man….

    I would want to try every single candy there!

  5. Rambling Round says:

    What a candy paradise!

  6. An Honest Man says:

    I’ve put on weight just looking at it!

  7. • Eliane • says:

    It’s a candy mecca! I’ll have to go on pilgrimage.
    It’s so good to read about a family owned store!!!!

  8. Just go easy – there’s enough sugar in their to die a pleasant death :)

  9. Toffeeapple says:

    Oh my! Heaven in one place. If ever get to NY that is the first place I’ll visit.

    Thank you.

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