Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eating Out in Chester: The Black River Candy Shoppe

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Steve Jones, owner of The Black River Candy Shoppe in Chester, has the lucky circumstance to have a job where he gets to see people smiling all day. And since his shop is the only one for miles on end, he gets to see people all over the place smiling, and not just from Chester.

“I think we’re unique in that there’s nothing like us anywhere close by,” Jones says, “so we have people coming up from Staten Island, and down around Montclair and Hoboken, and New York City on a regular basis, because we’re unique.”

Unique doesn’t even begin to describe it. Pez dispensers line the walls, old candies from your childhood like wax bottles and Gold Mine Bubble Gum sit with newer brands, and barrels literally are stocked with sweets. You might not find anything else like this for the rest of your life.

“We’re always getting new candies,” Jones says, “I mean, candies come and go almost on a weekly basis.”

Of those candies, they have a wide assortment that is all over the board from soft, to hard, to chewy, to sour. If you like it and it’s modern and popular, most likely, they probably have it.

“We have over 900 items that people can choose from,” Jones says.

Jones is originally from the pharmaceutical industry, but felt that he wanted a change.

“I had some acquaintances in North Carolina that had very similar stores going back 25 years ago,” Jones says, “and I just kind of liked the idea and always thought it would be a good fit for Chester.”

And it’s been a great fit for Chester. For the past 12 years now, Jones has been in the area and keeping track of some of the most popular candies on the market that the kids are into these days. So along with the nostalgic candies that you can pick up, you can pick up what your kids crave as well.

“Gummies are still real big for kids,” Jones says, “Sour candies are [also] still going extremely well.”

“Another thing that’s coming on now is that folks are doing a lot with chocolate that they didn’t use to do,” Jones continues, “They have chocolate with wine, chocolate with chilies, all that kind of crazy stuff that you didn’t see years ago, so that’s something that’s certainly new and becoming more popular all the time.”

Along with the website for the shop, he also assists those who are looking to put together a candy bar for special occasions.

“I don’t cater, but people come in and say, ‘We’re doing a candy bar for a wedding reception, and we’re probably going to have 10 candies,’” Jones says, “They usually have a color theme or a flavor theme, and I work with folks, and a lot of times, they’ll bring in their containers, and we’ll fill some and find out how many quantities they need.”

And seriously, how sweet is that?

WHERE: 44 Main Street, Chester
TELEPHONE NUMBER: (908) 879-1233
HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday: 10AM-5:00PM, Sunday: 11AM-5:00PM
CUISINE: Candy, Chocolate
PAYMENT: Cash, all major credit cards
DRESS: Casual
THE SCENE: This fun shoppe has barrels with candy and Pez dispensers on the wall. It’s a sight!
ATMOSPHERE: A friendly staff will happily help you want candy you’re looking for
PARKING: In the lot
OWNER: Steve Jones

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