Chocolate Chip Mint, Birthday Cake and Cookie Monster, are just some of the delectable new ice cream flavors at Dylan’s Candy Bar at the Grove in Los Angeles. Known as the “largest candy store in the world,” and found in fashionable locales such as Miami, New York, Chicago and East Hampton, this is the first time Dylan’s is offering the frozen treat—and that’s not the only way they’re branching out.
“Hello Kitty just celebrated their 40th anniversary and they approached us to do the exclusive candy. We came up with all different things, like chocolate bars that have cool, 40th anniversary graphics with Hello Kitty wearing candy clothing. And all of the different candies have her face on them. We also designed an exclusive line of Hello Kitty jewelry, handbags and accessories,” says owner of Dylan’s Candy Bar, Dylan Lauren.
Although Lauren, a life-long candy enthusiast was always interested in design, she never thought the two areas would ever cross paths. “I love candy. I’ve loved it my whole life. Candy makes me happy. When I was in college, I started making mosaics with gumballs, and M&Ms and doing decoupage with candy wrappers,” she says.
Lauren would not only start what would grow into an extensive candy collection, she began to see it as art. “I studied abroad in London and Rome, and so I started a collection of candies from around the world that I thought were unique and different. I began putting them on shelves in my home as art pieces because the packaging was so beautiful. When I came up with the idea of Dylan’s Candy Bar, my first thought was that it would be more of a museum and the concept just kind of evolved from there.”
As far as design, she says her father, Ralph Lauren, influenced both her sense of style, and her creativity. That, as well as packaging is what has set her brand apart. “I do a ton of design with Dylan’s Candy Bar, so I think I’ve inherited my dad’s creative eye for color and design; whether it’s designing the candy pajamas we sell, or the candy rain boots, candy slippers, candy jewelry or any of the packaging, I’m involved on every level. And I’m just really particular about colors, shapes and graphics. I love it and it’s an all day long thing for me. We see ourselves as sort of fashion and art merged with candy, which is what makes us a lifestyle brand.”
The reason Dylan’s Candy Bar has become such a sought-after destination is evident in the products they showcase. “Everything we have is beautifully packaged and designed. Obviously it all tastes really good, but it also makes for really good gifts—ones that are fun to give and fun to receive.”
And the New York-based Lauren says perhaps the only thing she loves more than candy is visiting Southern California. “I really like being outside, whether it’s being here at the Farmer’s Market and the Grove, or going to Runyon Canyon for a hike or Malibu to run on the beach. I love to be outdoors doing athletics and this is the perfect place to do it. It’s just so pretty here that every time I visit, I always think I want to move here—or at least be bicoastal.”
*To learn more about the history of the Farmers Market, pickup the November/December issue of Southern California Life Magazine.
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