Laughing Mask Candies, a classic by-the-pound candy shop, recently opened on Lexington Avenue. Husband-and-wife proprietors Anna and Joshua Sachar stock Jelly Belly jelly beans in every imaginable flavor, classic hard candies and taffy, too. They also stock sweet-and-sour pops and jawbreakers, and suckers worthy of the Lollipop Guild’s head honcho — even if he’s into funkier flavors like habañero pepper. “We’ve tried to get stuff that you couldn’t just get at a convenience store,” Anna says.
Which is certainly not to say that everything in the store is weird — much of the selection is classic, if not perfectly nostalgic. Butterscotch disks, anyone?
The store's name and carnival theme are both inspired by Joshua’s collection of Mardi Gras and Venetian masks. But the two have more than colorful disguises: Anna has an associate degree from the California Culinary Academy and is the winner of the 2005 San Pellegrino “Almost Famous Chef” award. Joshua spent 10 years as a chef, two of them at the Michelin-starred Jardiniere in San Francisco. While taking a break from the restaurant world, Joshua grew culinary mushrooms.
So why candy? “We were in Northern California for eight years and every little town had stores with interesting candy, and we would go in there all the time,” Anna says. “We thought it was fun and something different and when we moved here, we realized there was really nothing exactly like it.”
The duo actively seeks local candy makers, they say, and hope to display candy-inspired art in their front room. They also plan to offer birthday parties, candy-making demonstrations and special events, including holiday gingerbread house workshops.
Laughing Mask Candies is located at 84 N. Lexington. For more information, visit http://www.laughingmaskcandies.com.