Small Business Spotlight: Economy Candy Remains A New York City Staple After 80 Years

Joe Connolly
January 01, 2020 - 5:00 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- In this week's Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by BNB Bank -- "Community Banking from Montauk to Manhattan," Joe Connolly sits down with Mitchell Cohen, the third generation owner of Economy Candy.

The traditional candy store located on the Lower East Side was founded by Cohen's grandfather and remains a New York City staple to this day.

Thanks to word of mouth and positive reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp, they get customers in the store from all over the world.

"We have some great reviews, we're nice to the customers, have been around forever and people recommend Economy Candy," Cohen said. "And they come in, they bring their family and it's that tradition and driving new customers that has kept us around."

Cohen grew up working alongside his parents and siblings, which gave him a stellar education in business. After graduating college, he took those skills with him to Wall Street.

"What I learned growing up in the store helped me even more on Wall Street. Being able to interact with people and having conversations and being able to listen," Cohen said.

He worked on Wall Street for nearly a decade before making the decision to come back to the store.

"I loved working on Wall Street, I loved the people that I worked with at Morgan Stanley, but my parents were ready to take a step back, I was ready to make a change and I went into the business, worked side by side with my dad. I still do. When he's in town my parents both love to come into the store. We have Sunday dinner together as a family, catch up about the week. It's a real family business," Cohen said.

Economy Candy has over 2,000 items, including candies many people may not have realized still exist today, including Black Jack, Beemans and Clove Gum. They also sell candy by color and decade for parties and gift boxes.

Watch the video above to see how Cohen is expanding the company's digital presence.