Economy Candy opens second location after 85 years of business 

Caryl Anne Francia, Business Editor

Economy Candy opened a second location, marking the candy shop’s first expansion in its 85-year-long history.

With the original location based in the Lower East Side, the business opened “A Taste of Economy Candy” inside Chelsea Market on Feb. 7.

Although the new location is smaller than the original location, a representative for Economy Candy told Eater that the second location will have “a selection of the same vintage candies and classics as the flagship store, with a rotation of new treats each month.”

The business is known for selling over 2,000 kinds of sugary treats, including its own store-brand chocolate bars. It sells old-fashioned American sweets such as the Charleston Chew candy bar, 100 Grand chocolate bar and the Abba-Zaba candy bar. The store also sells imported sweets such as Hi-Chew candy, miniature Japanese Kit Kat bars and Cadbury chocolates.

Sweet-toothed shoppers may shop for nostalgic products like previously discontinued Kellogg Co.’s edible “cereal straws” and trading card packs, which may feature characters such as The Flintstones and the Garbage Pail Kids.

A Taste of Economy Candy also sells magnets, postcards and shirts with the store’s logo and art of the original shop.

The second location offered freebies during its first week. For every purchase made until Feb. 14, the shop gave out scratch-off cards to reveal a discount that could be used at either location. 

A Taste of Economy Candy gave away “swag bags” that included a keychain, a magnet, pins, a shirt, stickers and sweets on opening day. It offered a limited supply of a chocolate bar that was made in collaboration between Tony’s Chocolonely and Ben & Jerry’s from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12. The shop also gave out full-sized versions of the bar to the first 200 customers on Feb. 14.

Economy Candy started as a pushcart candy business on the corner of Rivington Street and Essex Street, before it moved into a shoe and hat shop in 1937. The shop’s name echoes the woes of the Great Depression.

“During the depression, people didn’t have the money for that, but candy went a long way to making you happy,” owner Mitchell Cohen told PIX11 News.

The business was founded by Cohen’s grandfather Morris, who served in World War II. Mitchell left his job at Morgan Stanley in 2013 to work with his parents, who took over Economy Candy’s ownership in 1981. 

The third-generation owner operates Economy Candy with his wife Skye Greenfield Cohen, who used to work in advertising. The couple spent their first date at the flagship store, according to The New York Times.

The Lower East Side location closed for 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it shifted its sales online. It reopened its doors on Sept. 3, 2021.

A Taste of Economy Candy is open all week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The business does not accept cash payments, but it does accept bank card payments and Cash App transactions.

“This is just the beginning of getting our name out to everyone else,” Cohen told PIX11 News.