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Grocery Stores

The Candy Bar

Posted by Laura Adams / Posted on April 30, 2013

The Candy Bar TorontoThe Candy Bar opened at the start of April on College Street, just west of Ossington — an area with plenty of bars and restaurants, but not nearly enough confectionery stores for candy lovers like me. As a sugar aficionado, I was eager to check out the new addition to my neighbourhood.

"Many adults need that sweet fix," the store's owner, Paola Giavedoni, told me when I visited one day after work, craving some chocolatey goodness. She opened The Candy Bar to share her passion for chocolate and international candy and to offer customers an inexpensive escape. "It's all about the simple pleasure and enjoying that one little thing, that moment," she explains. She also has fond childhood memories of visiting her local candy store and, as a nearby resident, wants to offer that experience to her kids, friends, and neighbours.

The Candy Bar TorontoWhile perusing the bulk candy bins and shelves of chocolate bars from Canada and around the world, it's clear that Giavedoni is serious about pleasing a range of tastes. She monitors industry trade shows and international chocolate competitions to select her products. (Yes, apparently there are candy trade shows, and yes, it is now a personal life goal to attend one). Giavedoni also strives to provide sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free, and healthier options to customers, within reason: "It has to have a fun factor to it. It's a candy store."

The Candy Bar TorontoBulk candy is offered at three price points: $0.99/100g and $1.99/100g for domestic gummies and chocolate, and $3.00/100g for imported candies, including Dutch licorice and British bonbons. I couldn't resist indulging in some Donkers Berries, a personal favourite that is hard to find because, as Giavedoni informed me, it's actually imported from the Netherlands. Anglophiles will be happy to know that The Candy Bar sells imported UK treats like McVitie's Jaffa Cakes and Walker's Toffee.

The Candy Bar TorontoFor her fellow chocoholics, Giavedoni offers a range of Canadian and international bars. As an Italian, she is partial to Amedei Tuscan dark chocolate ($6.29). She also sells award-winning Slitti Tuscan chocolate ($9.99), Denman Island organic chocolate made in BC ($3.99), and Orangeville's own Giddi Yoyo organic and vegan chocolate ($5.25). For those with more adventurous chocolate tastes, you can check out the UK's Gnaw bars in flavours like Rocky Road and Banoffee Pie ($8.50), and Vosges Haut-Chocolat bars in intriguing varieties like Smoke & Stout Caramel and spicy Red Fire Caramel ($9.99).

While Giavedoni strives to offer customers their favourite local or international goods, she also enthusiastically encourages them to try new goodies. It didn't take much arm-twisting to convince me to try some Dutch black licorice and Béquet salted caramels — smooth, melt-in-your-mouth bites of heaven for 75 cents, which are sure to become regular features in my confectionery repertoire.

The Candy Bar TorontoIf the candy-covered shelves don't induce feelings of happiness, the store's fun décor and friendly customer service should do the trick. Giavedoni's husband works in film production, and designed the light, retro-inspired interior. The rainbow of candy-filled glass jars, colourful light fixtures, and handmade piñatas (sold for $25), are a feast for the eyes, and prime the palate for a sugary indulgence. During my visit, Giavedoni warmly greeted customers of all ages, offering to gift-wrap purchases for friends and loved ones. She also sells gift certificates if you don't know what to get that special someone.

The Candy Bar TorontoIt's still early days for The Candy Bar, but there are big plans in the works. Giavedoni is eager to cater more events like weddings and corporate meetings. She also has ambitions to partner with local bars and food shops for tasting events that pair chocolate with wine, scotch, or cheese. "Food is all about sharing with others," she explained to me. My eyes lit up at the idea of a chocolate and cheese "mash-up," as she called it.

The Candy Bar TorontoSo what's this candy enthusiast's verdict? If you're looking for a little pick-me-up or a special treat for someone else, check out The Candy Bar. The lighthearted atmosphere and fun mix of products — inexpensive and gourmet, domestic and international, familiar and obscure — are sure to put a little (sugar-induced) bounce in your step.

The Candy Bar TorontoThe Candy Bar is open daily, 11am-7pm.

Photos by Irina No

Discussion

22 Comments

PL / April 30, 2013 at 01:38 pm
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This looks AMAZING.
I love candy shops, but I worry this one will suffer the same fate as Tutti Frutti at Yonge and College, after the Bulk Barn opened there. Although when it comes to nostalgia and giddy feelings, the old-fashioned Willy-Wonka vibe of a candy store can't be beat, the prices CAN be beat by big box bulk stores.
I will definitely be paying at least one visit to the Candy Bar though :)
Joe / April 30, 2013 at 02:14 pm
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It's an amazing shop, excellent addition to the neighbourhood. I was there the other day. Lovely shop owner and really really good bonbons!
Sarah / April 30, 2013 at 02:21 pm
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Hopefully their specialty candy can keep them alive. I'd still probably opt for Bulk Barn for my bulk candy needs, but I love little candy shops that offer some out of the ordinary/hard to find candies. Cute store!
Choc gobbler / April 30, 2013 at 02:37 pm
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nice place! friendly atmosphere, great design for the store (logo is interesting) and I can get my British candy fix here for a reasonable price.

I might pop in today again after reading this.

good luck candy bar!
Laura / April 30, 2013 at 02:46 pm
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Love the Candy Bar! Already been a few times, and with two kids having birthdays since they opened, it has really helped out in the loot bag department!
Isabelle / April 30, 2013 at 02:58 pm
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What a lovely shop . Can't wait to take a peek in so that I can buy the flying saucers . I have not seen these in forty years . they were one of my favorites .
Isabelle / April 30, 2013 at 03:00 pm
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ps : Paola is one of the friendliest person I have ever met . She is a delight to talk to .
choc gobbler / April 30, 2013 at 03:40 pm
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toffee/strawberry/choc bonbons. take my money.
candymonster / April 30, 2013 at 04:09 pm
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I LOVE CANDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lizzy / April 30, 2013 at 04:38 pm
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gorgeous candy bar.....loved all the selection....owner a delight!!
Another Paola / April 30, 2013 at 05:53 pm
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stopped by today, what a wonderful store! Paola is the nicest, and also mentioned she's always looking for suggestions, in case anyone is craving a specific hard to get item!!! I live just around the corner and will for sure stop by often
Kyle / April 30, 2013 at 06:16 pm
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Nice concept but this business won't last two years,candy stores can't win against company's like bulk barn.

Good luck
Vanessa / April 30, 2013 at 07:52 pm
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I went to the shop today and had a great experience. Rhubarb and custard bonbons may be the greatest candy I've ever had.
Ky replying to a comment from Kyle / April 30, 2013 at 09:03 pm
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Sorry, Bulk Barn is for cheap people. I want to go into a candy store that has unique and candies, no matter the price. If a store can offer that many people will support it. I wouldn't go to a bulk barn for candy, but I will definitely go to this store and try many things.
haggedorn replying to a comment from Kyle / May 1, 2013 at 09:27 am
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So, you like leaning over and digging into bins after the guy before you sneezed while he scooped up his bonbons. Go right ahead.
Carl / May 4, 2013 at 02:43 pm
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Was there yesterday and was so impressed by the selection of chocolate bars. If you want mediocre candy go to Bulk Barn (which isn't even that cheap), if you want quality come here. Lots of local options like Chocosol, Stubbe, and Soma. So glad this is in the neighbourhood; now I don't have to travel far for my chocolate fix.
Lucia / July 23, 2013 at 04:49 am
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Paola is ambitious ,personable and passionate about what she does. Once customers meet her they will want to come back. They will be greeted with a cheery positive attitude as well its about customer service, she does that well. The people going to the bulk barn are not neccesarily the same people wanting specialty imported goods."quality over quantity"!
Steph M / August 8, 2013 at 06:42 pm
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The perfect candy shop I walked into weeks ago after getting my eyes checked. It has everything. I loaded up on black licorice and Australian chocolates (?) and little jellies, none of which I'd seen since I was little. I asked about an American licorice I grew up on and she wrote it down saying she'd try to get it. I'm going back tonight to see if she could find it and to just generally reload. Paola rocks.
Czekoladowapasja / September 19, 2013 at 07:37 am
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So sweet! Super!
Meredith J / December 5, 2013 at 08:15 pm
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Really lovely, friendly store. The black currant bon bons... wow, just wow. I had never tried these before and they are great. I picked up a bag with two of each bon bon flavour and have really enjoyed working my way through it. Highly recommend.
Amanda / March 10, 2014 at 07:19 pm
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I was just there today for the first time. What a cute little store and Paola was so lovely and sweet! LOVE the maple popcorn.
Ares / May 19, 2014 at 09:21 pm
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Amazing shop with high quality, hard to find sweets! The decor and atmosphere beats Sugar Mountain and prices are fair given that most of the items are imported. Bulk Barn comes nowhere near The Candy Bar!

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