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10 Must-Visit Northeast Candy Stores

candy stores

Candy isn’t just for kids or Valentine’s Day. A homemade candy truffle with a rich chocolate ganache center and dusted with cocoa powder or a piece of crunchy white chocolate bark studded with almonds brings delight to almost anybody, any time. It’s why we get excited to step into candy stores.

Those with a sweet tooth have their favorites; some want penny-style candy like jelly beans, gummy bears and sour worms. While others crave sophisticated, artisanal bonbons crafted with fruit pieces, fragrant spices and liquors, or whimsical molded chocolate novelties.

Candy reflects trends as much as other foods, and now there are more vegan, fair-trade and sugar-free choices than ever. The next time you are craving something sweet, consider stopping into one of these Northeast candy stores.

Oliver Kita in his shop in Rhinebeck, NY. (Photo: Courtesy of Michael Gold)

New York

Some cities and villages get lucky with a choice of candy stores. In small historic Rhinebeck, along the Hudson River, there are three shops making signature-style treats to choose from.

Oliver Kita Chocolates, named for its owner, is famous for organic homemade chocolate bars that play up historic area sights. The Beekman Buttercrunch bar, ode to the Beekman Inn – the oldest inn in North America, is made with dark chocolate, toffee and sea salt. Kita is also known for handcrafted chocolate Buddhas and colorful bonbons flavored to reflect the season.

For those who favor classic-style candies, Krause’s Chocolates, founded in 1929 and with two other locations through upstate New York, offers more than 50 varieties of homemade candy and chocolates such as decadent truffles, peanut butter cups, cream-filled chocolates and bags of old-school gummy raspberries, candy corn and chocolate-dipped pretzels.

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And then there’s Samuel’s Sweet Shop, which was saved and purchased by residents after owner Ira Gutner died suddenly. The tiny 400-square-foot spot resembles a candy shop straight from a TV set, hardly surprising given that actors Dean Morgan, Paul Rudd and Hilarie Ros Burton bought it. The store is a favorite haunt of adults who come for a cup of its Partners Coffee and kids who stop by for gummies, Hubba Bubba bubble gum and Pez dispensers.

Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren, started Dylan’s Candy Bar as one colorful candy shop on New York’s Upper East Side in 2001. Bins burst with gummies, Sour Patch Kids, jellies and more than 7,000 confections. It became so popular that she expanded it to multiple levels, added a cafe, novelties such as a chocolate fountain, non-candy merchandise, and cloned it in more than a dozen locations and airport shops.

candy stores
(Photo: Courtesy of Dylan’s Candy Bar)

On the city’s Lower East Side, Economy Candy once was a shoe and hat repair shop with a pushcart outside selling candy. However, candy became the focus after it outsold the other goods. Now in its fourth generation, the shop stocks more than 2,000 varieties from chocolate coins and graham crackers to pecan patties, pick-and-mix old-fashioned treats by the pound, dried fruits and nuts, European Cadbury and Nestle sweets and candy arranged by color.

New Jersey

Jagielky’s Homemade Candy in Ventnor is the original location of this 47-year-old candy store, now also in Margate. The over 40 varieties of chocolates are made from scratch, including real buttercream centers and freshly roasted nuts. Every season brings forth specials such as four versions of caramel apples, milk and dark foil-wrapped chocolate leaves and turkeys for fall, and chocolate-covered Valentine’s Day strawberries.

Since Fred Conrad and John Krachtus started Conrad’s Confectionery in Westwood in 1928, the business has moved into a second generation with J.J. Krachtus, an engineer, taking charge. In summer, the shop focuses on 22 flavors of ice cream, hot fudge and freshly whipped cream. Come fall, candy such as milk and dark chocolate pralines coated in rainbow sprinkles and molded holiday novelties steal the limelight.

candy stores
White chocolate nonpareils being made at Richardson’s Candy in Deerfield, MA. (Photo: Courtesy of Kathie Williams)

New England  

Opened more than four decades ago, Harbor Sweets in Salem, MA, makes caramel and almond butter crunch in copper kettles with wooden paddles, as well as four specialty lines. The star of it’s nautical collection is the “Sweet Sloop,” almond butter crunch shaped into a triangle to resemble a sailboat, covered in white chocolate, dipped in dark chocolate and coated with crushed pecans.

Richardson’s Candy Kitchen is a classic candy shop in Deerfield, MA, that has been around since 1954 and now owned by Kathie Williams. It’s known for its “Dixie” turtles – chocolate on the outside and caramel and nuts, Rice Krispies or cranberries inside. Other favorites include sea salt caramels, white peppermint chocolate bark, nonpareils, peppermint patties dipped in dark chocolate and seasonal sweets such as fall’s caramel apples covered in chocolate and peanut brittle.

Among the newer shops, Life is Sweet Candy Store, in downtown Keene, NH, and Brattleboro, VT, has been famous for cupcakes since it opened in 2012. The candy rates raves, too. Choose from 10 flavors of gummy bears, chocolate covered raisins, espresso beans and pretzels with bacon.

Which of these candy stores will you go to satisfy your sweet tooth? Do you have another favorite candy shop that we forgot to mention? Tell us in the comments.

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4 Thoughts on “10 Must-Visit Northeast Candy Stores

  1. Richardsons Candy Kitchen! Consistently delicious! Specialty chocolates for the holidays are a real treat, whether for the Christmas stocking or the Easter basket. Can’t wait to get back there.

  2. Family-owned Stowaway Sweets chocolate factory and shop has been New England tradition since opening its doors in 1929. Located in the quaint and historic fishing village of Marblehead, Massachusetts, Stowaway Sweets is famous for hand-dipped chocolates, especially the “Meltaway,” since 1929.

    Every White House administration since President Roosevelt (who used to visit Stowaway Sweets personally with his motorcade) has ordered our famous chocolates to enjoy and share with dignitaries, the Royal Family (also clients), famous authors, musicians, and Hollywood elite.

    August 2019 will mark the fourth year former Vogue editor, Emily DeWitt and husband Executive Chef/Chocolatier, Don DeWitt are at the helm of the iconic chocolate factory. There are three large display cases with over a hundred varieties of chocolates and candy to taste and enjoy. Not much in the shop has changed since opening our doors almost a hundred years ago and many locals come in to tell stories about spending their childhood frequenting the shop.

    Correspondence and orders from past US Presidents, Buckingham Palace, NFL coaches, and Hollywood legends are proudly on display on the shop walls. Icons from the past such as Winston Churchill, Robert Frost, Katharine Hepburn, and Barbra Streisand to present day stars Sandra Bullock and Adam Sandler to one of sport’s biggest rivalries are all Stowaway Sweets loyalists. It’s the one thing both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees can agree on: these chocolates are the best (both are clients)!

  3. You should definitely include Trappistine Quality Candy at Mount St. Mary’s Abbey in Wrentham. Wonderful handmade candies created by a community of cloistered nuns in Wrentham, Mass. Their web site is The shop is at the abbey on a beautiful wooded lane, just down the street from Big Apple orchards, which is another great place to stop.

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