LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Need candy ASAP? A trio of Swedes are here to help -- and ready to deliver it straight to your door, all while wearing top hats!
Three Swedish-born New Yorkers recently opened BonBon, a brick-and-mortar candy store on the Lower East Side. To stay competitive in the instant gratification economy, BonBon made their sweets available for delivery on Seamless, Uber Eats and more.
If a customer lives outside the apps' delivery zones, one of the three top hat-wearing owners will hand deliver via bike.
Their candy isn't just most convenient, it also tastes better than the run-of-the-mill, bodega-bought Swedish Fish, said Leonard Schaltz, one of the store owner and self-proclaimed "director of fun."
Unlike popular American brands, BonBon's Swedish-made candies are all free of GMOs, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Many are also free of gelatin and gluten.
"We felt the need to bring a quality produce and improve the tastes and the standards of Americans," he said.
So what's up with the top hat?
It's a part of a get-up for a character that Schaltz and fellow store owners, Selim Adira and Robert Persson, created named Mr. Licorice. Most Americans who visit BonBon tend to prefer sour candies, Schaltz said, and stray away from a Swedish favorite, licorice. Schaltz believes Mr. Licorice can change their minds.
"How can we get Americans enthusiastic about something they most likely will not like? So we developed Mr. Licorice ... as palates develop, and we can present (licorice) in a nice way, then I think we'll get more converts," he said,
The character's main responsibility is taking store guests on a "magical journey" where they'll start off tasting sweet licorice, then medium, and finally salty flavors.
And yes, Mr. Licorice also makes appearances during hand deliveries.
Schaltz and company have another message for their American customers: Growing up is a trap. That quote is printed in big bold letters next to their store front, and it certainly motivated the opening of a candy store.
"We decided, hey, we're not going to grow up. We're going to open up a candy store and live our dreams since childhood, which is to be a kid in a candy store -- literally," Schaltz said.
You can find BonBon at 130 Allen Street on the Lower East Side. The store's open from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.