Photo: arinahabich, Getty Images.
Candy isn’t just for kids. A new slew of high-end candy boutiques and unconventional sweet shops are making confections the vice of choice for adults. Whether you like your sugar fix organic or processed, internationally-sourced or American-made, these venues cater to your cravings.
The idea for this luxury candy boutique was hatched by a couple on their third date; they’ve since opened stores across the country. The brightly-colored and sharply-packaged sweets sold at Sugarfina arrive from all over the world. Among the store’s alcohol-infused gummies, you’ll find Champagne Bears, Rosé All Day Bears, and Pale Ale Pints imported from Germany. Other boozy offerings include maple bourbon caramels, single malt scotch cordials, bourbon marshmallows, and martini olive almonds, just to name a few. The sober selection is just as enticing: try the caramels, available in red velvet and PB&J varieties; or sample elegant sweets like chocolate pearls, sea salt licorice, and cinnamon espresso beans. Create your own bento box or choose from the curated, occasion-based gift boxes. In addition to Serafina stores, the brand’s products are available online and through a dozen-plus retail partners.
Lolli and Pops
Lolli and Pops, the self-proclaimed “purveyors of sweetness”, combine old-world charm with modern flavor mash-ups. The brand’s Tiffany-blue shops sell tubs of Sugar & Spun cotton candy in cookie butter, strawberry shortcake, and piña colada flavors; signature chocolate bars in birthday cake, mango and chipotle, and PB & pretzel crunch varieties; and high-brow/low-brow concoctions like chocolate covered potato chips. If you’re shopping for the special sweet tooth in your life, a gift from this confectionery behemoth is just the ticket. Lolli and Pops operates dozens of storefronts across the country with select gift boxes available online.
Scandinavians like their sweets. “Smågodis” (or “little candies”) are part of the everyday culture in countries like Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway. This store, named Sockerbit after the Swedish word for “sugar cube”, sells high-quality sweets made from naturally-colored, trans fat-free, and GMO-free ingredients. Candy is also labeled for those on gluten-free or vegan diets. (As if you cared about your health if you’re shopping for candy. Come on!) Whether you like it hard, sweet, sour, or wrapped, you’re bound to find something here you never fathomed, much less tasted, before. Gummies come in acronyms like OMG and LOL, in flavors as unexpected as strawberry cheesecake, and in forms you never really wanted candy to come in, like mini gummy eggs. But don’t miss out on the sour gummy skulls; they’re to die for. Sockerbit currently has locations in California and New York City as well as an online store.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
This Willy Wonka-meets-Candy-Land concept could be credited with reinvigorating the fancy candy craze in 2001. Founded by Dylan Lauren, the daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan’s Candy Bar claims to be the world’s biggest sweet shop. Its flagship stores will likely make you feel overstimulated before you even get any sugar in your system with their upbeat music, pop art décor, and candy-themed gift and apparel displays. Boasting 7,000 varieties of sweets, you’ll have to wade through classic and nouveau candy bars, towers of multi-colored M&Ms, bins of animal-shaped gummies, and a rainbow of macarons to find what you really want. If you’re a germaphobe or allergic to children, this isn’t the candy shop for you. Steer clear of the chocolate fountain and watch out for the little people; they’re rampant here and they aren’t as well-behaved or as entertaining as Oompa-loompas.
No one is going to argue that bigger is better when it comes to candy, right? Good. Because that’s what IT’SUGAR is going for. This ubiquitous, nationwide chain is your one-stop shop for all things over-sized. From a 1-pound Snickers bar to a 27-pound gummy bear, it’s all a question of how much you can handle. Prices are as supersized as the products, so choose wisely and consume responsibly!