The Candy Store

A new shop selling imported American candies opens soon in Prague

Fans of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Kisses and other American candies will soon be able to get their fix: The Candy Store is coming!

Due to open on September 12, 2011, the New Town store and its website will provide homesick expats and sweet-lovers of all nationalities with a one-stop shop for imported goodies.

Born in Pardubice, eastern Bohemia but partly raised in the Netherlands, store founder Marek Čermák was first introduced to American candies by his father, who often travelled to the United States on business.

"He would always bring me back some candy and once I got a taste of goodies like peanut butter cups or Tootsie Rolls, it became my addiction," he explains via email.

Čermák, who now lives in Prague, tried to feed this addiction in the Czech Republic but was unable to find any one shop that stocked more than a couple of brands of American candy.

"It was really frustrating, especially considering the fact that in most Western European countries, stores that feature American products can be found very easily," he writes. "I felt it was a real shame that expats living here in Prague couldn't get a taste of back home if they felt like it and Czechs wouldn't even have the chance to try some of these delicious goodies."

Born of that frustration, The Candy Store came into being.

According to Čermák, sourcing American candy has been relatively easy and the biggest challenge he's faced has been finding a good, central space in downtown Prague. The search eventually led him to a location on Na Rybníčku street in Prague 2 -- just off Štěpánská and a short walk from either Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) or the I. P. Pavlová metro station.

When it opens, the store is set to stock around 80 different products. Along with classic candies like Butterfingers and Baby Ruths, The Candy Store will also stock American sodas, chips (crisps), syrups, breakfast cereals, chewing gum and packets of macaroni-and-cheese. Alongside the imports, the shop will also sell a range of freshly baked pastries, including cheesecakes, carrot cakes and cupcakes.

Despite working with several different distributors, there are some products The Candy Store isn't currently able to offer -- Twinkies among them -- because of their short expiration date, but Čermák is committed to constantly expanding his selection.

In the future, Čermák hopes The Candy Store could develop into a general American food store -- "not just candy, but all different types of groceries that people miss from the States."

For now, however, he's hoping to create a place where expats can "enjoy some tasty goodies, receive quality service and feel like they're back at home, even if just for a little while."

"I think it's always easier to feel at home in a strange country when you have things around you that you grew up with and that's one of the main ideas behind The Candy Store."

And Čermák's own personal favorite? "For me it's without a doubt Reese's Peanut Butter Cups."

The Candy Store, Londýnská 309/81, Prague 2
Phone: (+420) 602 318 010

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