Economy Candy, New York's Oldest Candy Shop, Has Nearly Every Sweet Imaginable

Despite its name, Economy Candy actually did not get its start as a candy store. Back in the early part of the 20th century, it was a business that fixed shoes and hats back in the days when repairing items (even clothing) was a viable alternative to replacing them. As a supplement to the shop's income, or perhaps an additional enticement to draw in customers, the establishment also had a pushcart out front that sold candy. The candy cart wound up making more money than the shoe and hat fixing, so by 1937, the business transformed into a storefront selling dried fruits, nuts, and, yes, candy.

Today, Economy Candy boasts over 2,000 types of snacks. Dried fruit and nuts are still on the menu, along with numerous other snacks including specialty items such as sugar-free, kosher, gluten-free, and vegan candies. It also has imported items such as halvah, Turkish delight, and chocolate bars from countries including Canada, the U.K., Israel, Japan, and China (Did you know this last-named country has Snickers in both strawberry yogurt and oat-filled varieties? Neither did we, but we now know where to get them and tbh we're kind of tempted.)

The oldest candy store has a bunch of old-school candies

In keeping with Economy Candy's status as NYC's oldest sweet shop, one of the store's specialties is vintage candies. These are the types of things that you probably ate as a kid but, depending on your age, assumed they stopped making decades ago since the last time you remember even seeing the stuff was back when you were still in elementary school. As the vintage candies are organized by decade, browsing them becomes a sweet trip in the wayback machine.

Dating from the '50s we find Chick-O-Sticks, Bit-O-Honeys, and candy cigarettes, while the '60s were a time for licorice pipes and candy necklaces. In the '70s, these made way for Pixy Stix, Sweetarts, and Pop Rocks, the last of which was invented by accident in 1956 but took nearly 20 years to debut in candy form. (Spoiler: No, mixing pop rocks and soda didn't kill Mikey from the old Life Cereal commercials since he was alive and working in the advertising industry 50 years after his acting debut.) The '80s brought us Big League Chew, while the '90s ushered in an era of Hubba Bubba bubble tape and Dunkaroos. All of these, of course, are available at Economy Candy, along with decade-themed packs that are probably a hit at high school reunions. The website also features a set containing some of the greatest candy hits of the second half of the 20th century that'll be perfect for celebrating the 25th anniversary of Y2K.