Economy Candy, NYC’s Oldest Candy Store
From its blue colored sign to its trademark image of a kid surrounded by morsels of sugary sweets, one might think Economy Candy store was erected from the remnants of a Willy Wonka movie. In truth, its origins are much older. At 78 years old, Economy Candy is actually the oldest candy store in New York City. The Lower East Side shop was founded by Morris “Moishe” Cohen, who passed away in February at the age if 97, in 1937 during the later years of the Great Depression. Despite its name, Economy Candy was originally a shoe store that sold candy to its patrons. As the economic downturn persisted, with families scrimping on uneccessary fashion purchases, Cohen found that candy continued to be that little guilty purchase. Today, staying true to its diversified roots, Economy Candy offers more than just candy, selling childhood mementos and memorabilia.
Patrons will be greeted by a “Proceed With Candy” sign outside the store’s main entrance.
Before you step inside, you will be greeted by a triangular yellow sign that says, “Proceed With Candy.” When you step inside, you will immediately be engulfed by an aroma of chocolate that will linger in your memory after you leave. From there, you will ingratiate yourself among the countless rows filled to the brim with jelly beans, pixie sticks, laffy taffy, PEZ dispensers, Hershey’s chocolate and various sweets from your childhood. In the center of the store resides a large table filled with practically every candy bar and chocolate covered confectionery from your childhood from 100 Grand, PayDay, and Sour Razzles, to Milk Duds, Push Pops and Zagnuts.
The store’s center table is filled with various pieces candy and chocolate bars.
However, if you look closely you will find a stack of comic books from the past such as Howard the Duck, Superboy and Ghost Rider located at the table’s edge. Comic book lovers who find themselves in Economy Candy will rejoice at their low price: only $1. On the opposite end of the table you will find baseball trading cards and merchandise from popular entertainment properties of the 1980s and 1990s such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Back To the Future and Growing Pains. Like its comic books, the store’s trading cards range from $0.50 cents to $1 dollar.
Besides candy and chocolate, the store has a display of comic books for only $1 dollar.
Besides comic books and trading cards, Economy Candy also sells vintage gumball machines.
Aside from comic books and trading cards, Economy Candy also sells vintage gumball machines, box tins, board games and lunchboxes that are a nostalgic reminder of simpler times for many patrons. Nestled comfortably at the top shelf behind the cashier’s counter, the store’s gumball machines are priced at a total of $75 dollars.
A cluster of vintage box tins, lunchboxes and board games occupy the top shelves.
Despite the recent passing of Morris Cohen, the store remains in the family–owned and operated by Cohen’s grandson, Mitchell. Economy Candy is located at 108 Rivington Street
Read on for our article on the Lexington Candy Shop, NYC’s oldest family owned luncheonette.