Every town should have a great candy store, but unfortunately in today’s economy that’s just not possible. The community of Floral Park is the exception. They’ve been blessed with the grand opening of a special spot called Bliss on Tulip. The candy shop effortlessly catapults you back in time while simultaneously offering a modern fresh vibe.
It’s a family affair, husband and wife owners, Valerie and Charlie Allbright have poured time, money and love into their second act.
In the 1930s the same store front was called Shannon’s Candy Store. Charlie gladly tells us that the old sign is in the basement. He says, “We’re thinking of framing it and hanging it front and center.”
Charlie used to come to the same spot as a child with his grandparents in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s; his feelings of elation have not been forgotten as the years tumbled on. But now it is his, daughter Sam, who’s behind the counter cheerfully greeting customers as they come in.
Valerie has put her own stamp on the quaint store by adding a coffee bar. She explains, “I want parents to come in and know that we have something for them.” The coffee bar offers signature Green Mountain Coffee with coffee laced ice cubes and luscious rock candy sticks to match. While mom is busy sipping, her kids will be delighted by giant wood barrels of M&M’s, gummy bears and jelly beans. The little hideaway specializes in nostalgia candy like Goldenberg’s Chews, branded candy cigarettes, atomic fireballs, wax lips, Zombie Brain Juice and more. Gummy Bears in every shape, size and flavor are a particular favorite among little shoppers. Homemade fudge and old fashioned candy sticks in glass jars are featured behind the counter and render joyful faces all around.
“As children we weren’t allowed any candy; we came from a strict Navy family and the sweet temptations were definitely not on the menu,” she said. “It’s probably the reason my sister and I have gravitated toward it all our lives.” Valerie’s been turning to her sister for guidance who ran a candy store as well.
“Now, I can eat and binge on candy whenever I want and I love that,” said Valerie. Her keen eye for decorating makes the store feel more like a summer getaway in the Hamptons tucked away on a sleepy street with the smell of salt air wafting through the aisle.
The Allbrights are confident that the euphoria kids found in days gone by hasn’t changed and that parents, like their children, still crave that special place to visit, relax and inevitably dance the never-ending sugar ballet.
In today’s fast paced world, let’s try to keep the belief and stay optimistic that corner store gems won’t be lost to faceless online sites selling their wares devaluing every neighborhood across the entire planet.
Hopefully, the Allbrights will decide to hang the Shannon’s Candy Store sign; passing on the important tradition of family and community.
Bliss On Tulip is located at 372 Tulip Ave.