Oddly enough, I now realize that I’ve never put together a traditional candy Easter basket – until this year. I’m hosting an inter-faith family this weekend for an Easter/Passover double header. With a newborn baby boy and tween daughter, I wasn’t sure how to manage gifting. But it all came into focus when I found myself at It’Sugar right around the corner from my Upper East Side home in New York City.
I started with a basic basket from a shop around the corner and to it I added my favorite gift objects—books—along with some small Easter decorations. For baby boy, I had a couple of classic children’s bunny books, such as the delightful I am a Bunny, by Richard Scarry, and for Mom and Dad Our Haggadah a book by the interfaith journalist husband and wife team Cokie and Steve Roberts about their unique Passover Seder. As for the Tween, a card was provided by the wonderful Heifer Project. I’d just purchased a flock of chicks, in honor of this young lady, which would serve a family in need for months, and maybe years, to come.
While all of this is nice and good–it’s really all about the candy. When I strolled into It’Sugar with the intention of “filling in” the basket with some nifty candies, I had no idea what was before me… a veritable wonderland of candies, one more charming than the next. And, there was something for every member of the family.
This is no ordinary candy store, to be sure. There were many beautiful displays of Easter items from peeps of every variety to chocolates and eggs galore. The store has many self-serve stations so one can fashion her own dream basket. For the Jewish delegation, I picked up Orthodox Chews, special taffy candies that will surely bring a smile. Mom and Dad will also be charmed, I’m quite sure, by all the “old school” candies that, for those of us of a certain age, are buried deep in childhood memories: Astro pops, dozens of varieties of Pez dispensers, candy cigarettes (for those raised South of the Mason-Dixon line), pop rocks and more. If I do say so myself, the basket is a perfect combination of holiday fare and unexpected treats.
I’m happy to see that there are It’Sugar stores all over our great country….and a few international shops, too. Check out their unusually cheerful locations.