Economy Candy and the Pandemic Halloween
With Halloween just a few days hence, we checked in with local love Economy Candy, to see how owners Skye and Mitchell Cohen are managing the pandemic during a peak holiday for the Lower East Side confectioners.
As you can imagine, Halloween has always been a big deal in the Economy Candy family. “Growing up, we would spend the two weeks before Halloween making up individual gift bags for our neighborhood trick or treaters,” Mitchell tells us. “They were so amazing that kids would run around the corner and switch costumes to snag a second one, and some families even drove to our house to trick or treat from other towns!”
The holiday proves to be the busiest day of the year for the sweetshop. “We have the most sales on Halloween, but we also give out more candy to trick or treaters than we sell. We set up our push cart on the sidewalk to hand out candy, and usually have a line around the block, no matter the weather,” explains Mitchell.
“There are a lot of little kids who live in our building, but we’re never home in time for trick or treating,” continues Skye. “Before we leave for work, we set up a huge candy display outside of our apartment door.”
The duo’s love for Halloween goes beyond the treats, though; they take costuming very seriously.
“Every year, I start working on our homemade Halloween costumes mid-September,” explains Skye. “Last year, we were Tinker Bell and Peter Pan, and a few kids thought we were really Tinker Bell and Peter Pan – they didn’t want to leave until they saw us fly! A few years ago, we were Mario and Princess Peach and the same thing happened – little kids thought we really were Mario and Princess Peach, and were asking us about Luigi and Bowser.”
As for favorite costumes when they were of trick or treating age?
“I was all about princesses!” says Skye. “I was a princess for Halloween every year from Pre-K through 5th grade.” As for Mitchell? “It’s a tie between Superman and Ghostbusters. Maybe Ghostbusters because of all the cool gadgets.”
Unfortunately, with the pandemic still in the picture, candy collecting looks somewhat different this year. In March, they pivoted their business model to offer a variety of CandyCare packs to keep the sweets operation afloat. Now seven months later, they’ve added Halloween CandyCare packs to the arsenal.
“One of the best things about Economy Candy is the experience of being in the store,” says Mitchell. “In March, when we had to close to the public, we immediately began brainstorming about how we could continue to bring that happiness and excitement to our customers, while everyone was living in quarantine.”
“With social distancing making in-person trick or treating a near impossibility for this year, we’ve been hard at work dreaming up alternatives to make sure every kid can have the Halloween haul of their dreams, and that every parent can covertly raid that haul after lights out,” says Skye.
“It’s been incredibly touching and heartwarming to see communities support each other while supporting us.”
For more information on ordering and pick up availability, visit Economy Candy.