Eugene J. Candy Co. is Bushwick’s premiere specialty candy store. The small shop is stocked with everything from old time favorites like Abba-Zabba and Clark Bar, pick-n-mix bulk candy with a large selection of gummies, specialty chocolates like truffles and chocolate-covered Oreos, and novelty like Surprise Eggs, Whistle Pops, and BeanBoozled. It also stocks a selection of giant Pez dispensers, gumball machines, candy making kits, enamel pins, and candy jewelry.
The store itself is largely unassuming from the outside (it’s all black!); but it’s inside where the magic’s at. Decked out as a “gingerbread shoppe,” complete with fake icing oozing out the walls, the store transforms with the seasons. While always humorously macabre, it darkens and gets haunted for Halloween, snow tops shelves for the winter holidays, hearts materialize over Valentine’s, and pastels flourish through Easter and Spring. Much of the store is a DIY dream — decor and props are routinely crafted on-site.
The candy store was opened in March 2016 by a chemical engineer who had been toiling away with candy making much of his young adult life. The desire has always been to innovate and manufacture, and the store is just the beginning of a long, fairytale journey of experimental confections. Specialties include panning (i.e. candy-coated anythings!), gummies, and jellies. Frequent visitors inquire about new concoctions and even sample when available.
While many startups focus solely on being artisanal and high-end, the mantra of Eugene J. is much less serious and simply fun. Novelty items such as the current series of work, FG. Freaks, are made on the premises with many more creations to come.
Not much else is known about the candy maker. He takes inspiration from Nikola Tesla, Tim Burton, and cAndy Warhol. The rest of his story remains a bit of a mystery.