Dylan Lauren Never Gets Sick Of Candy

Photo: Courtesy of Dylan's Candy Bar.
When it comes to hip confections, Dylan's Candy Bar is a mega-brand. The company's flagship in New York City is the largest candy and lifestyle emporium in the world, not to mention there are are now multiple locations around the country. And this month, Dylan's Candy Bar is celebrating its 16th anniversary, which is fittingly being called its Sweet 16.
The company is the brainchild of Dylan Lauren who wears many hats as a candy entrepreneur. She runs a successful business, travels the world looking for the coolest new candy-related products, and she's a mom to twins and a pet dog. She also recently went on a trip to Ecuador with Heifer International to help promote the organization's work with cocoa farmers. Lauren visited cocoa farms, met with the farmers, and sampled confections from women that participate in Heifer's micro-loan program.
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We caught up with Lauren after her trip to talk about her business and, of course, all-things sugar. Yes, she really does eat candy every day.
Creating the world’s largest candy store
Lauren’s business started with a passion for unique sweets. “It kind of grew out of my love for finding candy from around the world and finding candy that wasn’t available in America,” she says. While every culture has its own popular candies, Lauren felt there wasn’t a major candy store where it was truly fun to shop; “I wanted to create a place that was like Willy Wonka meets Disneyland.”
What a fashion background means for candy
From her dad, Ralph Lauren, Dylan learned, “a lot about design, quality, and packaging something so people feel proud to give it as a gift.” She set out to elevate candy so that it wasn’t just something customers would eat on the spot. In addition to bulk candy, Dylan’s candy bar offers gift baskets, boxes, and a whole Color World where customers can customize candy for events or occasions.
Staying ahead of the game
Dylan’s Candy Bar can be credited with becoming one of the first modern candy brands. “We carry candy from around the world, we have the largest nostalgic section, [and] we bring in local vendors.” Those are just some of the reasons that customers continue to love the brand Lauren explains. Not only does the company sell sweets, but Lauren prides herself on merging fashion, pop culture, and art with candy. The stores even carry candy-themed jewelry, spa products, clothes, and much more.
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Finding new, cool products when the store already has 7,000+
After years of searching for the best candy available around the world, Lauren has a few tricks up her sleeve. She visits international candy trade shows, finds new products throughout her own travels, and even receive submissions from candy makers. “I really have my eye out for very aesthetically beautiful, but quality products,” she says. The company is always looking to add new items to its current offerings, “We’re open to new inventions because I think that’s what inspires other people and it’s part of the fun of discovery in our store.”
Eating candy every, single day
Lauren NEVER gets sick of candy and she truly eats it every day, but she does have a sweet hierarchy of sorts. “I don’t get sick of candy, but I don’t love caramel. Ever since I was a kid, I think it’s ironically almost too sweet,” she says. She eats chocolate less frequently, but loves a good Cadbury Creme Egg and is a big fan of marshmallow fluff. Gummies are the top of her sugary food chain because there are so many varieties to choose from.
On running a business and being a mom
Lauren has three kids: 2-year-old twins and a dog. The most important lesson she’s learned about being a working mom is to be present in the moment; “When you’re with your kids, don’t be on your Blackberry or your iPhone. Don’t bring your problems home with you,” she says. Lauren explains that even her dog picks up on it when she’s splitting her attention.
The most surprising thing she’s learned after 16 years of running a candy empire
Candy never goes out of style. No matter what healthy food trend is popular at the moment (she’s seen both kale and cauliflower during her time as a candy business owner) or how terrible the economy is, sweet treats seem to remain a constant. “Candy is something that people of all ages, backgrounds, continue to shop; It makes them happy, it’s nostalgic,” says Lauren.
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