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Candyality Opens In Wicker Park With Vegan Chocolates And Sour Gummies

By Janet Rausa Fuller | November 2, 2016 5:32am

The fourth location of Candyality is now open at 2046 W. Division St. [DNAinfo/Janet Rausa Fuller]

WICKER PARK — For obvious reasons, Terese McDonald wanted to get her newest Candyality store up and running well in advance of Halloween.

Her initial target date of Oct. 1 came and went, but she managed to open the shop Saturday at 2046 W. Division St., just shy of the biggest candy holiday of the year.

“It’s pretty quiet,” McDonald said Tuesday. “I think everyone’s on sugar overload. And then there’s the Cubs factor. Nobody can think of anything else but the Cubs right now."

This is the fourth location of the candy business that McDonald started on Southport in 2007.

It comes after the late September closing of the Candyality inside the Shops at North Bridge, 520 N. Michigan Ave. The lease on the store’s third-floor space there was up after seven years.

Candyality’s other locations are in Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave.; at 3737 N. Southport Ave.; and in Andersonville at 5225 N. Clark St.

Though McDonald had been eyeing the “vibrant” Wicker Park neighborhood for a while, she said the Lego store’s exit from the North Bridge mall a few years ago followed by the addition of accessories retailer Charming Charlie, which pushed out several locally owned businesses, influenced her decision to move from that Michigan Avenue address.

“Once those went out, I have to say, the cachet kind of left,” she said. “It used to feel almost like a small town. There were like 10 independent businesses up there and it was super nice because we offered a lot of things people couldn’t get anywhere else, so I hated to leave.”

The new location does have a feature that’s a first for Candyality and unique to many city storefronts: a parking lot for customers. The shop is on the west end of a small strip mall; the 1,300-square-foot space used to be a tanning salon.

Mr. Kite's Chocolate Shop is just west on Division.

The front area of Candyality will serve as a party and activity space. [DNAinfo/Janet Rausa Fuller]

Inside, there’s a designated area in the front that groups can rent out for birthday parties, gingerbread house-building, painting and so on.

“We’ll have a table with benches where we can do all kinds of activities,” McDonald said. “In a really small, thoughtful way, it’ll give us a dimension that we haven’t had."

The store will carry its usual (and extensive) selection of retro candy bars, gummies and, especially, sour candies, “because of the young millennials that live there,” McDonald said. They like sour sweets, she said.

Customers also will find a line of vegan chocolates that's sold at Candyality in Andersonville. They're made by Chocolate Inspirations, based in suburban Roselle.

Employee Kayley Fowler, who lives in Wicker Park, said Tuesday the vegan chocolate bars as well as Candyality's own caramel and cheese-and-caramel popcorn should be in this week.

The popcorn is made at the Andersonville store, where Fowler previously worked. Now, she can walk to work.

The retro candy section at Candyality is a customer favorite. [DNAinfo/Janet Rausa Fuller]

The newest Candyality replaces a former tanning salon on Division Street. [DNAinfo/Janet Rausa Fuller]

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