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Economy Candy

About this listing

Old fashioned candy shop offering local and world-wide favorites

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Lower East Side
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

It's an old tenement storefront on the Lower East Side; the kind of place that doesn't exactly beckon you in from the street. But enter, and you'll feel right at home. Candies you never thought you would see again. Prices you imagined had disappeared. And sales help who ask if they can help you. You've found Economy Candy, where locals have bought their sweets for over 50 years.

The store has something for everyone. Amidst the counters of hand-dipped chocolate, barrels of nuts, shelves piled nearly to the ceiling with chocolates and candy, bins full of penny candy, a gourmet international selection, and vintage children’s games and candy boxes lining the wall, it is easy to find something to satisfy any craving. There are the “nostalgia” items: Mary Janes, Tootsie Rolls, Sky Bars, Pez dispensers, Pop Rocks, and Pixie Stix. There are also the classic “New York City” items, for...

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Nominations

Lori Greenberg

This store has been in the same location on the Lower East Side since 1937. It is a family owned business, started by the current owner's father (and the owner's son is also helping to run the business now, so it has three generations of history). Economy Candy represents the flavor and diversity of New York, when people came here and settled in the Lower East Side and tried to live a better life. It is also one of the last holdouts of the true Lower East Side. Most of these businesses have disappeared because they could not keep up with the escalating rents in the area. Because of its uniqueness and unpretentiousness, it is really one of the last places in the area that makes you feel like you are on the Lower East Side.

The store is visited by a wide assortment of people, including many who remember it from when they were children. People who live in the neighborhood visit the store, as well as people who have moved away from the area and come back to the store because of their memories/nostalgia. The space has not changed much, as it is crammed with penny candy in jars and also candies from childhood (along with newer novelty brands, for future generations to become nostalgic over). The owners talk about the neighborhood and local news with customers, and there is a familial feeling about the place, as if you were visiting people you grew up with (which, for some people, rings true, since the store was around when they were children). The store is now surrounded by trendy cafes and bars, and there is a luxury hotel going up across the street



Michael Hasselmann

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. What makes Economy Candy so popular and what has maintained an astonishing customer loyalty is that adapting hasn't meant abandoning its essential quality as a neighborhood candy store.


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