This is the best candy store in New York. Not too many tourists know about it, but if you are travelling to the city and you have kids, young and old (like me) at heart, you MUST squeeze in a visit to the Economy Candy Company on the lower East side of Manhattan. This utterly fantastic store is only about 150 meters squared but it is the densest assemblage of candy from near and far. It focuses on most of the popular American brands, but it also has the more obscure American candies and a few foreign picks as well. They also carry dried fruit and nuts, bulk chocolate candies, halvah, hard candy, jelly beans in the millions, M&M’s by color, the most amazing lollipops, etc. If you want the chi-chi PR savvy candy store in New York, you go to Dylan’s Candy Bar behind the flagship Bloomingdale’s Department Store on 60th and 3rd. That store, owned by the daughter of Ralph Lauren, has a pretty impressive display but it is also wickedly expensive. I did a previous post on it here.
Economy Candy is for the serious candy shopper. You can fill an entire maleta here with pasalubongs and save a good 30+% or more over uptown prices. And they move so much volume that you are likely to have the freshest candy, period. They also have all sorts of doodads like little plastic bottles filled with candy with silly labels like “FART PILLS” that The Kid just loved and brought as presents for her friends – they were 60% LESS than at uptown stores. I also like that they carry the large sized “moviehouse candy” like jujubes, raisinets, etc. in the same boxes so you can get dozens of these and when you go to the movies in Manila, you can just make baon a snack and not get nailed with exhorbitant moviehouse prices.
What also makes this store so charming besides its literally floor to ceiling (and they have HIGH ceilings!) stock of candy is that it is still family owned and run. Established 70 years ago, it has the feel of a smaller business, not a corporate entity. I have been going to this same shop for roughly 30 years! My sister buys her dried fruit and nuts for her annual fruitcake bakeoff here and can buy upwards of perhaps 100+ pounds of goodies in one order! I just realized a few minutes ago that they actually have a website and you can order a lot of their products on-line, but there is nothing like seeing the store for yourself. The Kid has been to this store perhaps three times in 6 years and she remembers it dearly. I am certain that if she continues to be fortunate enough to have a trip to New York City every so often, she too, like her old man, will have very fond memories of this shop, and will load up (literally) on the sweets like nowhere else on the planet. Economy Candy Company, 108 Rivington Street, New York. Telephone 254-1531. Website www.economycandy.com