The best collection of unique candy under one (e)roof
December 7, 2011 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for online sources for unique candy. Whenever I see candy I've never seen before, I have to buy it. This is especially true if there is evidence it's actually good quality and not just weird. Small independent companies, regional and international candy, old-fashioned, unusual foodie-bait flavors and preparations, fancy packaging, I'm into it all. Are there online shops that bring any or all of these things together, on the way to my mouth?

I know there are specialized websites for nostalgic and international candy, and a lot of smaller companies have their own website sales or even use Etsy, but I'm looking for retailers with a variety of brands and kinds of candy, perhaps with more of a focus on quality. Recommendations for brick and mortar stores are good too, but I'm mostly interested in online.
posted by doift to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
Candyfreak by Steve Almond should prove useful; IIRC it has a web bibliography.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:22 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

We're fortunate enough to live close to one of the oldest independent family-owned candy-makers in the country. Their stuff is amazing, there's a ton of it, and they do mail-order.
posted by jbickers at 8:24 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Gilt Taste and Foodzie have some well-curated candy, chocolate, and confection selections.
posted by kathryn at 8:25 AM on December 7, 2011

You don't say where you are (so am I unkind to assume you're in the US?). The first unusual sweet I could think of that comes from the UK was Uncle Joe's Mint Balls, so I tried to find an online store that would sell you some of those. This store seems to stock them and many many other traditional British sweets. I don't know if they do international shipping though.
posted by altolinguistic at 8:30 AM on December 7, 2011

Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC.
posted by decathecting at 8:36 AM on December 7, 2011

Roman Candy is evidently a unique New Orleans thing? Never had it, just saw it on TV.
posted by XMLicious at 8:39 AM on December 7, 2011

Vermont Country Store
posted by brujita at 8:43 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Japan tends to come up with interesting combinations and textures to a western palate.
posted by cmoj at 9:05 AM on December 7, 2011

Sat next to a guy in a bar one night. Late. Really late. He started going on and on about chocolate. My skepticism surrounding the idea of expensive chocolates probably entered the conversation. Probably as yet another late night drinker proclaimed to be one of the "owners' of something. Anyway, "give me your address, I'll send you some." he says. So I give him the concierge info for my building, mostly as a way to enjoy my last drink in a more isolated peace.

What arrived a couple of days later was the most amazing assortment of chocolates I have ever seen. Beautiful. Each hand made and hand "painted." The packaging was sublime. The flavors were delicate, ranging from lavender to exotic fruits to chili. The set he sent was expensive. Very expensive. More than I would typically spend for a dinner for two at a nice restaurant. It was decadent and delicious. It was luxurious and beautiful.

Christopher Elbow Artisnal Chocolates
posted by nickjadlowe at 9:14 AM on December 7, 2011 [6 favorites]

It's worth keeping an eye on Zingerman's confections and chocolates.
posted by Andrhia at 9:26 AM on December 7, 2011

Response by poster: This is great, keep 'em coming!

I am in the U.S. (Washington state) but I'd love to hear about worldwide sources too, if only to taunt my tastebuds with things I can't have.

nicebookrack, Candyfreak is, not surprisingly, one of my favorite books. Its web bibliography is good but not super-extensive, plus I know there are a lot of new small candy companies since 2005.
posted by doift at 9:44 AM on December 7, 2011

Economy Candy is an amazing old school candy store on the Lower East Side (and much cheaper than Dylan's). They have a good online store.
posted by kimdog at 10:25 AM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

America's Market in the Chicago area is great. They have a small selection online, lots more in the store.

Naper Nuts and Sweets is another favorite.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:23 AM on December 7, 2011

CandyJapan automatically sends you an assortment of Japanese candy every 2 weeks
posted by rmless at 11:39 AM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Carol Widman's Candy out of North Dakota has fantastic "chippers" (chocolate covered potato chips). Their ordering system is low-tech (you need to print a hard copy form from the website or you can call), but those things are quite good.
posted by sarahnade at 12:04 PM on December 7, 2011

There are several candy stores in each town on the coast of Oregon, so I assume they're up in Washington too. I like the ones in Seaside on the boardwalk.

And you might like The Candy Blog where different kinds of candy are reviewed on an almost-daily basis. I check it out every day or two because I love candy as well. I even worked in a candy store in high school.
posted by tacodave at 4:15 PM on December 7, 2011

One of my favorite candy memories is getting handmade caramels on a trip to Montana. We loved them so much they were my wedding favors...they probably make a lot of delicious other candies but these are special.
posted by biscuits at 5:34 PM on December 7, 2011

I've ordered from Jbox before - but I just checked out the website, and it looks like they have less of a selection than they did a couple years ago.

Amazon has a lot of international candy. One Japanese candy I really like is Morinaga caramels, which several vendors carry, though some are out of stock. They come in several flavors - I've tried the milk caramels, azuki bean, and green tea, and I love all of them. (But, I usually buy my Morinaga caramels from Japanese grocery stores).

I also love Haw Flakes. I've only ever seen these sold in Chinatown, usually for $.25 a pack, and I think they're really delicious, though I could imagine that other people wouldn't like them as much. I absolutely recommend them.

And here's another of my favorite candies - I love lychee, both fresh and in candy form.
posted by insectosaurus at 5:42 PM on December 7, 2011

Crackheads - Chocolate covered espresso beans by independent company out of Milwaukee, WI.
posted by j03 at 12:18 AM on December 8, 2011

Chocomize!- Custom chocolate bars. Limited by your imagination!
posted by llacness at 10:43 AM on December 8, 2011

I'm usually not a big candy eater but I recently stumbled on Savor Sweets, a Spokane-based candy maker that has very good quality lollipops. What I love about them is they have many vegan varieties, most flavors have only three ingredients and you can compost the stick and the wrappings. I have become shamefully addicted to their Espresso and Ginger flavors.
posted by jihaan at 11:15 AM on December 9, 2011

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