New York City’s legendary sweets shop, Economy Candy, is packed with as much history as its shelves overflow with chocolates and suckers. Since the Cohen family took over the store — which got its start as a candy cart outside a repair store — after the Holocaust, the brick-and-mortar store has flourished and upgraded with the times, while managing to hold onto its unique charm.
After decades of cementing itself as a true NYC institution, the current COVID-19 pandemic forced its third-generation owner Mitchell Cohen and his partner Skye Greenfield Cohen to shutter its doors.
Don’t fret! Economy Candy has a plan B. To “capture the joy” of being in their store, the Cohens launched a new initiative: Candy Care Packs. Customers can no longer schmooze and nosh on sweets in the store, but at a time when comfort food is needed most, they can still get their sugar high with the new, online-only packages. CandyCare Packs come in four sizes, and range from $35-$100.
“We’re trying to recreate that sensory overload, little kid in a candy store feeling that so many people describe when walking in by putting together mystery grab bags of all our favorite and most popular items,” Skye told the Gothamist.
Once a bustling 15-person operation, faced with a difficult decision, the Cohens decided to let go of their employees like many other shops and restaurants have been forced to do recently. With their latest initiative, the couple works 16-hour days, trekking two miles to Economy Candy back and forth each day. That’s one way to get your exercise in!
You can choose from Economy Candy’s inventory of over 2,000 sweets to order for curbside pickup, or you can get free shipping and snag a $35 “Economy” CandyCare Pack (includes an assortment of candy, chocolate, gummies, and hard candy!). The Cohen’s also put together a few variety packs, like a Movie Night Pack, including cinema snacks, a Recess Pack with retro toys, and a Combo Pack with dried fruits and nuts.
While Mitchell and Skye are doing their best to keep the business afloat, no care package can replace the charm and nostalgic feeling of strolling into Economy Candy for some sugar and schmoozing.
“Many of our customers have been shopping with us their whole lives and have memories of coming in with their grandparents and memories of when Mitchell’s grandparents were running the store,” Skye told the Gothamist. “We both miss those face to face catch ups both with local customers and with tourists who are excited to learn about our history and share stories about where they are from.”
Here’s hoping Economy Candy’s doors — and our dentists’ offices! — re-open soon.