By Janee Law
Northport natives and sisters Gina Nisi and Angela Nisi-MacNeill have kept the theme of selling candy on Main Street in Northport Village with the opening of Carl’s Candies, which has replaced former candy store Harbor Trading.
Along with selling a variety of candy that can satisfy any sweet tooth, Carl’s Candies also sells specialty items, toys like Shopkins, soft drinks and will soon start selling ice cream, cotton candy and slush puppies when the warmer weather kicks in.
“The summer is going to be very busy because this town gets a lot of the boaters from Connecticut, with a lot of concerts and family events in the park,” Gina, 37, said. “We’re kind of amping up some of the other fun stuff for summer.”
The shop also features artistic décor, with pages from books that hand from the ceiling in the book exchange corner, where customers can leave a book and take a book. In addition, the walls display and sell the artwork of Sleepy Dan, which is a collection of pillow monster friends that help scare away monsters under the bed.
At 2,200 square feet, the 50 Main St. location in Northport Village opened its doors in October 2016, taking over what was previously Harbor Trading.
The sisters, who now both live in Port Washington, said popular items include sour belts, giant jawbreakers, giant rice crispy treats and 5-pound gummy bears.
Both sisters are Northport High School graduates. As a teen, Angela worked at Harbor Trading for two years.
“When we heard the former owner of Harbor Trading was retiring, Angela sought that opportunity out and we decided to take over and keep it as a candy store,” Gina said.
Angela, 41, added that when taking over the store it was really important to keep the candy theme.
“It’s just something that everybody loves about this town,” she said. “It’s in their fun memories of the town, coming to a candy store and every little town needs a candy store.”
The name Carl’s Candies is a nod to their late grandfather, Carl Foglia, Gina said. Also a Northport native, Gina said her grandfather used to own a butcher shop where Skipper’s Pub now stands.
“He loved Northport and hung out here every day until he passed away in 2014,” Gina said of her grandfather. “That’s another reason we opened the business here.”
The store also gives a personal touch, crafting its own items, such as chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered Oreos chocolate covered Twinkies and different specialty molds.
Along with including old-time candy items, such as Necco Wafers, Gina said they go to different trade shows in Manhattan to scout for candy that’s unique and difficult to find, such as Japanese candy and sodas.
“We try to accommodate everyone’s taste in candy,” Gina said. “I think people get excited seeing everything possible so want to bring in stuff that’s hard to find that people would get excited about.”
The perks about owning their own business is the freedom to be creative and research a variety of merchandise, they said.
Angela added, “It’s also nice to see people we’ve grown up with coming with their kids and enjoy themselves in the store.”