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Surrender To Can Can Candy

Any time you can build a business around fun, go for it. Ernie Torres and Peter McLean, owners of a new small five and dime shop called Can Can Candy, have dreamed up a sweet recipe on Elmwood that they hope will inspire the kid in all of us.

The idea of the five and dime took root a few years ago when Ernie and Peter flew into Buffalo’s airport (from Texas) in order to make their way to Toronto. The two were, and still are, big fans of winter and found themselves miserably making due with the southwest’s scorching heat. The trip to Toronto, via Buffalo, had become routine until one fateful day, when they decided to drive through Buffalo instead of around it. It was then that they found themselves on Richmond Avenue ogling the robust rows of Victorians. “That’s when we saw the For Sale sign,” Ernie told me. “The sign read that the house was for sale for $87,500. We assumed that the house was really for sale for $875,000, and that there had been a mistake in the listing. All the same, we called the realtor and were stunned when we heard that the price was not a mistake. Unfortunately the house had already sold, but all the same we were determined to move to Buffalo.”

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Ten years after moving to Buffalo, Ernie and Peter managed to open Can Can Candy just in time for this past Valentine’s Day. In preparation for opening day, the shop was stocked with ribbon candy, colorful suckers, seasonal gifts and sweets and name brand candies and chocolate bars. Many of the edibles are displayed behind old world antique display cases, which places an even greater importance on the inexpensive product. Not since the Pop Shop, once found at the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell, have I felt like… a kid in a candy shop? Maybe it was the whimsical decor that transported me back to my youth. In the back of the shop a faux performance stage has been built. On the stage a cancan dancer, frozen in time, can be seen giving a high kick in the direction of the Eiffel Tower. Midway through the shop a flatscreen TV, camouflaged by use of an elaborate gold frame, plays classic movies depicting an era gone by. I was happy to catch part of The Wizard of Oz while browsing over the displays.

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Candy will be the main focus of this eclectic Elmwood addition, though there will also be plenty of gifts to be found. Ernie told me that he was still expecting a line of wind up tin toys to make an appearance any day. He’s also looking forward to the arrival of the vintage candy bars. I noticed ribbon and gift wrap behind the counter along with balloons and a helium tank. The owners are still on the lookout for a soda company to complete the five and dime experience – of course customers can’t expect to pay 5 and 10 cents anymore… that would be asking to much (or too little). I understand that Can Can Candy has made quite an impression on the Canisius High School students who make a daily pilgrimage to 822 Elmwood Avenue. Hey, I remember the days fondly… I just don’t remember them being so darn entertaining.

Can Can Candy and Gifts is located at 822 Elmwood Avenue. You can also find them online at CanCanCandy.com. Give them a shout at 716-883-3489.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • Harvey

    These guys have great retro candy. Nice addition to Elmwood.

  • TranspoGuy

    Wow, it seems like over the past month or so, there are more and more naysayers coming out of the woodwork here on BRO.
    OnTheWagon, would you rather see it vacant? Probably not. So what is your point?

  • townline

    Idiot Wagon,
    Shoefly moved from this space to a great new space across the street, next to the Coop, with more sf, better windows and overall street presence. Its a great story of a very successful Elmwood Business that has been able to expand itself.
    BeYouTiful was in the space for a very brief time, but she took a job in NYC before she even put her signage up and anybody knew she was there.
    But good for you in proving you’re smarter than all of us by ****ting on a story of a local shopkeeper who opened their own business through the use of no public monies, incentives, etc… You’re the only one who truly gets it….. unless articles are about expanding industry, they might as well be thrown directly in the trash. You’ve enlightened us all…good for you!

  • townline

    Idiot Wagon,
    Shoefly moved from this space to a great new space across the street, next to the Coop, with more sf, better windows and overall street presence. Its a great story of a very successful Elmwood Business that has been able to expand itself.
    BeYouTiful was in the space for a very brief time, but she took a job in NYC before she even put her signage up and anybody knew she was there.
    But good for you in proving you’re smarter than all of us by ****ting on a story of a local shopkeeper who opened their own business through the use of no public monies, incentives, etc… You’re the only one who truly gets it….. unless articles are about expanding industry, they might as well be thrown directly in the trash. You’ve enlightened us all…good for you!

  • OnTheWagon

    Great,
    Thanks for correcting me.
    So what business did shoe fly replace to move across the street? Same point. And if it was de novo, there are countless turnover stories like this – I think Queenseyes has been there, done that. Who knows, maybe his store vanished because it was so profitable he could retire. Or maybe he just wanted to do something else. Perhaps he wanted to make less money. The greatest neighborhood in Americal probably has one of the highest turnover / failure rates for small business too. BRO has probably pursuaded people to take chances, great, some of those people are bankrupt now probably…why?
    I’m not slamming the candy store, read between the lines, I’m slamming BRO for ignoring the big picture.

  • swf

    I think its only 2/3 of new businesses make it past the second year. I don’t believe elmwood avenue has done worse then that. I made it ten years as my own business, i consider that a good run.
    I’m missing what BRO is ignoring wagon. They are putting a spot light on a new businesses.
    Businesses fail. Retail opens and closes. I vistit many cities throughout the east coast…each time i notice a slight change in the retail stores there. its the cyclical nature of business.

  • needles

    BTW,
    Ernie and Peter,
    Congrats on the new endeavor and best of luck to you both. I’ll be stopping in to support your business while in the EV. Oh, and a very belated welcome to Buffalo!

  • sbrof

    wow… who would have thought the comments would go off topic so fast.
    Without being in Buffalo how do you have any idea what happens to the businesses. There have been many businesses that have moved from Elmwood to Delaware or Hertel in the past few years. Some are even opening up west of Richmond as they get priced of out Elmwood. Often they are moving into long vacant storefronts.
    You are correct that small businesses but that isn’t a bad thing. It opens up space for new ideas and people. It what keeps cities vibrant and changing. If we wanted homogenity and the same crap all the time we would live in the great suburbia of the south and hop from apple bees to apple bees in the search for the better place to eat.

  • Nate Neuman

    On the Wagon, we’re glad you left too. Really glad.
    Anyways, since we all know that Buffalo is still a great city and will only be destined for more greatness in the years to come, lets all welcome Can Can Candy. You are a great addition to our community and we wish you nothing but the best!

  • OnTheWagon

    Nate, et al.,
    Even if you really knew me, and hated my guts, if you’re happy people like me would leave and will leave, then you really don’t give a damn about Buffalo. But have fun in the EV, cottage district, and West Village this weekend, or maybe check out The Savages and send me your thought on why they filmed the last half in Buffalo.

  • OnTheWagon

    Hey, I lived in the EV…I don’t hate anything about it itself. The community is not pathetic.
    My comments about the EV (and other areas like it) are about provoking people to think about what happens outside of the EV. They are about my perception that most BRO bloggers only really care about the nice parts of Buffalo, where they live and visit when they are there, and about how they make me feel they just want to put up a big wall around it so it will still be around when WNY is truly deserted.
    Since I do want people to read my comments, I want to say WCP, RaCha and Steel post stories regularly about the bigger picture. So I guess I should be a bit more objective. I slam Steel once and a while because his stories sometimes have a Saint Nicolas tone to them. But god bless them all for posting, I read all of their posts.
    Apologies if my rants have chased people away,
    Your welcome if they have led more people to this story who then buy candy at this new store, or decide to lobby for some of the ideas I espouse.
    NOw, it’s time for another week off from BRO.

  • OnTheWagon

    sorry last one before I go on hiatus Norwood, your comment about me underestimating BRO’s power.
    BRO has created enormous power. Anybody who reads the Buffalo News can tell many of the stories are derivative of BRO posts a day or two later. Also, why do you think the hotel on the water project got shot down? I would say WCP/Queenseyes (let’s not do the name thing anymore I have enough cyper creeps) posts had alot to do with it. I bet city hall powercrats read this site every single day. I bet Savarino, Paladino and others like them read it every single day.
    BRO – don’t doubt your power, it is emmense.
    Later

  • The Kettle

    You moved? Good for you. I get pi$$ed when people cry like you but dont do anyting to change their situation. Now you just need to cut the cord and stop visiting on line. If stories about small businesses dont entertain you DONT READ THEM! Do you get some sick defeatist high pointing out to the rest of us how lousy you think our town is? Go post on message boards in your new home town about pie in the sky.

  • MRodgers

    G N – MAM

  • Caroline

    I was intrigued by this shop as I drove past it the other day. Seems like it’s a great new addition to Elmwood. I’ll make sure to stop in shortly to purchase some sweets!

  • BloCity

    If you have problems with the content or lack there of on BRO then start your own website/blog on Buffalo.