February 8, 2023
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Sweet success: Region’s candy firms expand


The shelves at Kingston’s Candy Co. are stacked with enough Pixy Stix, Gummi Bears, Abba Zabbas, Moon Pies, bubblegum, Smarties and chocolate bars to make Willy Wonka himself proud.

“Nine months ago I was in the corporate world, and here I am having fun in candy land,” owner Sarah Jaimes says from behind a center display at the new Santa Barbara candy store.

Jaimes opened the second Kingston’s location in Santa Barbara in early October, in San Roque Plaza. Just seven months earlier, her sister, Holly Thrasher, opened the first shop in downtown Ojai. The stores specialize in nostalgic candies and soda pop, the latest phenomenon to hit the sweets world.

“Everybody remembers the penny store down the road with candy for a penny. Well, now that penny is a dime,” Jaimes said.

Rocket Fizz is also riding the retro candy resurgence. The Camarillo-based company, started by Robert Powells and Ryan Morgan in February 2009, will open its 13th location in November.

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