Candy Depot opens location in Fredericton

After opening in Moncton and Saint John, Candy Depot opened a Fredericton location on Oct. 28, 2021. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

A little more than two years ago, Stephane Leblanc and his business partner, Ryan Cook, decided it was time to move on from their cell phone repair shop. The result was Candy Depot, a specialty candy store, which opened in September 2019 in Moncton.

The sweet business made its way across New Brunswick, with a Fredericton location opening in October.

“We’ve actually been looking at Fredericton for about a year now,” said Leblanc. “A lot of demand in our Moncton store [and] a lot of people from Fredericton making the trip down for the day and stopping in, so it’s definitely been on our target.”

Leblanc admits he and Cook had trouble finding a storefront in the capital city because there weren’t a lot of options available. With the region’s tight rental market, they took their time and continued working away with their realtor for about a year.

Shortly after opening a Saint John storefront in July 2021, they got the call they hoped for.

“[Our realtor] came to us shortly after we opened in Saint John and said, ‘I think I found the spot for you,’” recalled Leblanc. “We went and saw it and made an offer.”

Candy Depot shelves are filled to the top with candy, chocolate and soda pop. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

After some renovation delays, Leblanc said excited customers lined up outside the Prospect Street location’s doors on Oct. 28, anxious to get their hands on some candy nostalgia. He said it felt great to witness their hard work pay off.

“The question in the back of your mind — ‘is anyone actually going to show up?’” said Leblanc. “We were happy to see that we didn’t do it all for nothing.”

Shelves are filled to the top with candy, chocolate and soda pop. Leblanc said one of Candy Depot’s main selling points involves importing products from outside of Canada.

Some products come from as far away as the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Australia.

“We try to focus on things that you can’t find locally,” said Leblanc. “Of course, we have some local favourites, but we try to be a little bit different and get products that stand out.”

Often shoppers at Candy Depot find a product they haven’t seen since their childhoods — like butter rum Lifesavers. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

When he gets to chat with customers, Leblanc often notices a recurring pattern, especially once shoppers find a product they haven’t seen since their childhoods — most notably butter rum Lifesavers.

“Everyone that used to get the little Lifesaver books [at Christmas] had butter rum Lifesavers in them and it’s just not a product that the supplier sells in Canada anymore,” said Leblanc. “A lot of nostalgia … it’s really fun to be able to give that to people.”

Leblanc said it’s hard to guess where Candy Depot could go from here after opening locations in all three of New Brunswick’s major cities. For now, he and Cook are looking at options to expand around Atlantic Canada.

If all goes according to plan, he hopes to make further announcements by early 2022.