American candy stores are popping up in Canterbury city centre

Invasion of the American candy stores

The nature of Canterbury’s retail landscape appears to move in waves. Going back to the late 70s and early 80s, it saw the arrival of the burger joints.

Then came the big chain eateries like KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut. After that the more upmarket restaurants like Prezzo and ASK arrived.

More recently, we had the coffee shop explosion.

And now American candy is taking the city by storm. This month saw the fifth shop open.

Called American Candy, it is in Sun Street and run by the same people who operate American Candy Co & Gifts in the High Street.

Hardy’s is in the High Street

Hardy’s just up the road and Mr Simm’s in Mercery Lane also have extensive American candy lines.

But it was the shop called Dover Street News that was first on the scene four years ago.

Now trading as Auntie Ammie’s Candy, it is replete with American goodies.

Owner John Caggiano, 45, explained: “Fewer and fewer people were coming in for newspapers so we felt like we had to adapt and diversify.

“Benji’s in St Peter’s Street had had a couple of lines of American stuff and then I got some Reece’s candy in and that just flew out. So we went for it.

“A lot of people who had been in America in the 80s or 90s were nostalgic for the things they had eaten on holiday there.

“We also looked around us and thought about the sort of things students like. We just really enjoy what we do and hope people enjoy our products.”

Auntie Ammie’s offers American chocolate, candy, potato chips, corn snacks, cereals and drinks in its range. Much of its trade comes from online orders.

The other shops which are more central heavily rely on passing tourist trade. They also offer visitors souvenirs and other knick-knacks.

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