Every year, I give myself a diet cheat month, the month of October. Is there any plainer adult joy than cruising the Halloween aisles of a Rite Aid in search of one’s favorite holiday candies? I think not. (Spoiler alert: I predictably go for the oversized bag of flavored Tootsie Rolls, lollipops, and Dots.) If you’re thinking of stocking up on old fashioned or new fashioned candy for, uh, trick-or-treaters, or whatever, you’d be smart to visit these 6 Long Island candy stores.
Located right in the center of buzzing Greenport, this somewhat sprawling candy haven is whimsical and fun, stocked with red baskets teeming with pretty much every sweet you can possibly think of. The store is also chockfull of decorative items, in case you’re interested in outfitting your home in the spirit of the holiday. If you come the weekend Halloween, stay for the cruise to the (allegedly) haunted Bug Lighthouse. In other words: come for the mouth candy, stay for the eye candy.
Sweet Indulgences, 200 Main Street, Greenport, (631) 477-8250, open daily 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
2. The Candyman
The Heins family has owned and operated Orient’s Candyman chocolatier for over 75 years (and they’ve been in their current location, on the outskirts of town, since 1980). Chocolates are all made on premises and are predictably old school: jellies, turtles, creams, and chocolate-covered fruits are just a few of the treats served up here. You can make your own box and the Candyman staff will pack it by hand. This is a piece of Long Island history that you should definitely embrace.
The Candyman, 22350 Main Road, Orient, (631) 323-2675, open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This store is straight out of the opening scenes in Willy Wonka, soda jerks and all. Nineteenth century-attired staff (white caps and all) serve up milkshakes and nostalgia. And those on the hunt for more obscure candy—Australian licorice, Italian confetti, Kosher candy—will be happy to know that it’s all in stock here. I’m not sure there’s a more festive candy store around, and certainly not one where all of the servers are in costume. Sit down for the milkshake, and get your refined sugar to go.
Hope’s Land of Candy, 3951 Long Beach Road, Island Park, (516) 544-2244, open Monday through Thursday, 12 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 to 10 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 8 p.m.
4. Bobb Howard’s General Store
Bobb’s is a regular winner of local awards (best mom and pop shop, best collectible store, even best muffler store). Any visitor is sure to see why. They sell over 350 retro candies, in addition to their other trappings. Just the penny candy category alone is enough to transport a stable 37-year-old into her chaotic, fun childhood. Wax moustaches for the win! It’s the kind of place you have to see to believe, with shelves lined with candies you didn’t know you missed, in the disorderly orderly way of a friendly hoard. And if your car’s in need of work, well, they can handle that, too.
Bobb Howard’s General Store, 581 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Park, (516) 354-9564, open Monday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Yes, Sweeties has the predictable (chocolates, bulk candy, an impressive and bright wall of treats that the inner child in you wants to touch right this second, etc.), but they’re also home to the create-your-own dessert pizza bar, where patrons can decorate their desired sweet carb with anything from marshmallow to gummy bear. They’ll also make you a candy fidget spinner, in case that’s your thing. Bring a s’mores pie (or whatever your heart desires) back home for a Halloween “dinner.” Your dentist has nothing on these guys.
Sweeties Candy Cottage, 142 E. Main Street, Huntington, (631) 423-7625, open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Inside this tiny storefront on Montauk’s Main Street, sweet dreams come true. Metal-topped glass jars are home to pretty much every delicious thing available. The aesthetic is 1940s candy shoppe, and in Montauk’s now new bohemian heyday, the store—magazine perfect—fits right in. o sweeten the deal, the Anchor also sells baked goods custom made by Dawn Renar of Dawn’s Delicious Delights. Nouveau candy appreciators will love Big Picture Farms’ goat milk caramels. The Candied Anchor also carries Sweet’tauk, a line of local lemonades made with fresh fruit and stevia (in case you were worried about that diabetic coma setting in).
The Candied Anchor, 721 Montauk Highway, Montauk, (631) 668-8038, open daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.