Economy Candy began as a shoe and hat repair shop which had a push cart outside that sold candy. When the Depression hit in the 30s the candy cart started bringing in more business than the shoe store and in 1937 the business transformed into Economy Candy. When Morris “Moishe” Cohen and his brother in law returned from World War II they took over the business and expanded into selling candy, chocolate, gift baskets, dried fruit, nuts and more.
When Economy Candy was in its original location on the corner of Rivington and Essex, Morris would bring candy and large sacks of fruits and nuts outside. He would stand outside all day rain or shine, 0 degrees or 90 degrees, chatting with customers and smoking a cigar. His son, Jerry, would work everyday after school and weekends along with his two sisters and mother.
Jerry and his wife, Ilene, joined the business full time in the early ’80s when the store moved from its original location to our current location at 108 Rivington Street. Jerry and Ilene ran the store alongside Morris for a few years learning all the tricks of the trade from The Original Candy Man. After Morris retired, Jerry and Ilene went on to run the business together for over 30 years. They have now passed the reins to their son, Mitchell, who joined the family business in 2013 and his wife, Skye, who came on board in 2016.
On July 29th, 2023 New York City co-named the northwest corner of Rivington and Essex Streets ‘Morris “Moishe” Cohen Way’ in honor of Morris’s and Economy Candy’s lasting legacy on the Lower East Side community and NYC at large.
Every week local New Yorkers (and online candy junkies) flock to Economy Candy to stock up on their favorites of our 2,000+ items, including chocolate covered graham crackers (with and without jelly), chocolate covered pretzels, jelly rings, bags of gummies, or that candy bar you just can’t find anywhere else.