Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be in a 1,500 square foot room where there is more candy than actual square footage?
Vancouver Weekly recently met with Rami Hawari, owner of The Candy Room on Robson Street and found out just how sweet it is to be surrounded by candy all day. The Candy Room boasts the largest supply of bulk candy in Vancouver with over 450 candies visitors can stuff in mason jars based on their deepest desires. It does not just stop at bulk candy however, as there are over 2,000 other candies and chocolates to choose from all over the world. Candies from as far away as Germany, England, Ireland, Japan, Mexico and America line the shelves and give visitors the chance to experience a world tour of candy.
While visitors to The Candy Room are no doubt astounded when walking into the exciting and colourful store. For Hawari, being amongst candy all day is nothing new. Having grown up with his grandfather and uncles running a candy manufacturing business, it was no doubt that “destiny played a role” in creating The Candy Room.
What brought together your vision for opening up The Candy Room?
Hawari: I grew up with a family always in the candy business. My grandfather and uncles first started a candy manufacturing business in 1948, manufacturing toffees, marshmallows and hard candy. A lot of trade secrets have been passed down and improved over the years. I got my MBA in Strategic Business and a marketing degree but whatever I ended up doing, my head always went straight to candy.
What is your main demographic of visitors to the store?
Hawari: Surprisingly it’s adults! We carry a lot of rare and nostalgic candy which adults would have enjoyed growing up. We really focus on bringing back good memories and want everyone to reminisce on all the goods times they had as children.
What are some of these candies that bring back nostalgia for people?
Hawari: We carry everything from Baby Ruths, Slap Stix, BB Bats and La Pipette Licorice Pipes.
Vancouver is considered a health-conscious city. Do you offer candies that can still cater to people of all diets and lifestyles?
Hawari: Yes! Our store is constantly evolving to stay up to date with the latest trends and cater to everyone. We have sugar free, gluten free, natural and organic candies available. Our candies range from $0.50 to $10 based on the size or type.
The store has over 400 bulk candies and thousands more. Can you name every candy in the store?
Hawari: Haha yes…it may take a while but I definitely could list them all out.
What is your personal favourite candy you currently carry?
Hawari: The British dairy milk chocolate!
Note – I was lucky enough to try the Galaxy Cookie Crumble chocolate bar and can testify that it was delicious! Did you know that British chocolate is actually different from American chocolate? British chocolate has a higher fat and cocoa content while American chocolate usually has a larger dose of sugar.
What is one of your most crowd-pleasing or exciting candies you currently have?
Hawari: You need to try this sour candy. It’s considered one of the most sour in the world. Here…try it!
Note – OMG, this was so sour. If you have a knack for sour candies you need to try this mouth puckering sour ball.
Who would you say was most instrumental in helping you achieve your dream of opening this Candy Room?
Hawari: Definitely my wife. In addition to running all our social media and marketing for the company, she has been there for me during all our endeavours, including raising our three young girls!
Do you think your girls will follow on the family tradition of going into the candy business?
Hawari: It’s hard to say because they are so young. But… they might!
After all, destiny has played a sweet role in this family so far.