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Economy Candy: Photo Tour of a Real Old School New York City Shop

Economy Candy: Photo Tour of a Real Old School New York City Shop

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New York’s Lower East Side used to be the spot for shopping, with vendors in business for generations. Most of those shops are now shuttered, replaced by condos, real estate offices and fancy children’s boutiques. I’d hoped to write about a famous New York pickle shop in the neighborhood, but alas learned I was too late and it too had closed. So when I hit upon an old school lower east side shop that is actually still in business, I wanted to write about it before it too disappeared.

Economy Candy has been in the same location on Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side since 1936. Economy Candy has never caved into the pressure to modernize like the latest trendy Willy-Wonkaesque candy shops. Nope, this shop couldn’t be more jumbled, crowded and haphazard. Stuffed to the rafters with candy with no fancy displays, Economy Candy offers that rare feeling of discovery– that at any moment you might stumble upon that long forgotten childhood favorite.

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You can’t miss Economy Candy on Rivington– as the sign says, it’s been under their original ownership since 1937.

Economy Candy has all sorts of candy– the newest trendy candy, loose candy by the pound, European fancy chocolates, pretty much every kind of candy you can think of. But what sets Economy Candy apart is their huge selection of nostalgic candy– those candy bars once popular in decades past that are still somehow being manufactured.

economy candy by the pound.

The front window at Economy candy has overflowing bins of candy by the pound.

economy candy inside store nyc

It’s impossible to come out of here empty handed.

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While candy cigarettes are no longer called cigarettes, they still make ’em and they do come in cigarette-like packaging.

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Lollipops in all sizes, jelly beans in every flavor, gumballs (and gumball machines).

If you are a licorice fanatic (I have several friends who are) you will appreciate the “economy aspect” of buying your fix in bulk, in no-nonsense clear plastic bags. Bulk purchasing is definitely the best deal here.

My favorite section was this table of old-timey candy bars. I bought a bunch I’d remembered as a kid and several that well pre-dated my time.

Economy Candy works that nostalgia angle by also selling new (but vintage inspired) toys. I might have walked out with an old school slinky. You’ll also find actual vintage items (board games, records) scattered throughout the store.

Have you been to Economy Candy? What’s your favorite childhood candy?

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Shepard C Willner

Friday 11th of August 2017

Any sign of Sky Bars, bubble gum cigars, Gold Mine gum nuggets, and shoelace licorice (grape was my fave flavor)? I haven't been to this store, and I don't think I'll get to it for quite some time. I hope your dentist didn't give you a hard time about that sugar intake! :-)