West End candy shop Zazoli Sweets planning move to new location

zazoli candy

Zazoli Sweets, a candy store that sells gummies, chocolates and other treats, is planning to relocate to a new storefront near its current location in the West End. (Photos courtesy Zazoli Sweets)

After six years on Libbie Avenue, a local candy store is moving around the corner.

Zazoli Sweets is planning to relocate early next month to 5712 Patterson Ave., a short distance from the store’s current spot at 308 Libbie Ave.

Owner Sharon Kirsner said she’s making the move to have room to introduce new features at the business, which sells a variety of chocolates, gummies and other sweets. Specifically, the new shop will allow for the addition of an eight-foot-long refrigerated chocolate case and wall-mounted Jelly Belly and M&M dispensers.

Though just slightly bigger than the Libbie spot close to St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s schools, Kirsner said the new 1,200-square-foot space on Patterson has a better layout to facilitate those new features.

“I wanted more in terms of offerings and the space was constricted in that,” Kirsner said of the current shop on Libbie. “It’s going to feel a little less crowded. When you have kids coming in with their backpacks and stuff, you close your eyes and pray the stuff doesn’t fly off the tables. There will be a little less of that going on.”

Kirsner said the new Patterson location, which was formerly occupied by Bella Bridemaids, will be otherwise largely the same experience customers are used to on Libbie. In addition to bulk candy and prepackaged sweets, Zazoli offers mix-and-match truffles and a limited assortment of individually packaged candies aimed at kids that can be purchased in a custom combination.

sharon kirsner zazoli scaled

Sharon Kirsner

The new features will bring back a greater degree of the customization that Zazoli had when it first opened but later scaled back, Kirsner said.

“I always wanted to have that big chocolate counter where people can pick out multiple different chocolates and place it in the box for them,” she said in reference to plans for the chocolate case.

“Right now, we package pretty much all the chocolate in boxes and we don’t really give people the flexibility to create an assortment.”

When she first opened in 2018, Kirsner said the store had mostly a build-your-own candy bag experience, but she found that was challenging to implement in a cost-effective way.

She accordingly de-emphasized that approach and used downtime created by the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to make the pivot.

“You get a bag, you pick and choose what candies you want and weigh it out. In theory, it seemed like a really great idea. In execution, being near the schools, it got a little out of hand because the kids would get excited and fill their bags and realize they couldn’t afford what was in the bag,” Kirsner said of the original business model.

“Now we sell primarily in four-ounce increments with our bags. People were disappointed they couldn’t mix their candies, but it was a nightmare between inventory and waste and so forth. I was not sad to see it go.”

The store’s original concept was inspired by Kirsner’s childhood as the daughter of a U.S. serviceman stationed in Germany and visits to her grandmother in The Netherlands that often included purchases from a candy seller at a local market.

“When we would visit my grandmother, there was a town market and there was always the candyman, which is what we called him, and he would have kind of like the food truck of today. He would have all these containers of all the different candies,” she said. “You would point to which ones you wanted and he would create a sack of candy.”

Zazoli expects to operate at its current location in the B suite of 308 Libbie Ave. through Easter.

“I figure that’s a good time. People have plenty of candy after Easter and aren’t necessarily looking to buy more in the near future,” Kirsner said.

The candy store is slated to open in the Patterson retail strip that’s also home to Jean Theory and next to the planned redevelopment of the Westhampton Bakery building that’s right on the corner.

POSTED IN Retail

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Margaret Thompson
Margaret Thompson
23 days ago

Congratulations on your continued success, Sharon!