Sugarfina owners, Rosie and Josh Resnick, on their candy shop chain.
An auspicious date night leads to a sugarcoated partnership where playing Candy Land is for real.
Written by Rich Thomas, Photographed by Shane O’Donnell
Many of us have a complex relationship with candy. We sneak it. We feel guilty about it. Sometimes we go overboard.
At Sugarfina though, they want customers to let go and indulge, in new and different ways.
“I think there’s a segment of the population that’s been craving a better experience. I think maybe they gave up on candy a while ago, and we’re showing them there’s more,” says Rosie O’Neill, cofounder of the gourmet candy company.
Sugarfina’s story is deliciously ironic. Early in their courtship, after an outdoor showing of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory no less, Rosie and Josh Resnick decided they wanted to follow their dreams. Rosie was working at Mattel as a marketing director, and Josh had sold his company—Pandemic Studios—to Electronic Arts.
The LA-based couple’s first boutique opened in Beverly Hills in 2013. In four short years the company has ballooned to 22 stores across the country including one at Americana at Brand in Glendale.
In contrast with its stark white interior, Sugarfina is a motley-colored orgy of product, bursting at the seams with canisters, troughs and kitschy packages. You can take home the World’s Largest Gummy Bear or a 6-foot-long rope of licorice.
Samples are individually wrapped and delivered on silver trays by employees who are dressed in bowties and crisp whites.
Colorful cubes filled with canary yellow Parisian Pineapples, Blood Orange Fruttinis, neon green Cowboy Cactus and rainbow-colored Kyoto Blossoms are stacked two rows high. Themed three-piece and eight-piece sets come bundled in beautiful blue bento boxes.
“We’re obsessed with details, maybe in a way that’s not so healthy,” laughs Rosie.
When Sugarfina debuted, 50% of their candies were exclusive offerings, but none were original. Success has changed that formula. “Our focus from here on out is to invent and bring to life things that didn’t exist before,” says Rosie.
Champagne Bears infused with Dom Pérignon and the wildly popular Rosé All Day gummies—made with Whispering Angel rosé—are just a few of their custom-made creations.
The LAUSD is piloting a program here in the Valley—The David Labkovski Project—aimed at teaching students about the Holocaust.