Small-Batch Food Star Andy Paul: The Candy Curator

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Two years ago, Andy Paul won Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Calling All Dreamers competition. The prize: a year’s free rent on a downtown storefront, where he now operates a high-end candy store called Andy’s Candy Apothecary, curating the best collection of sweets in town.

WHY CANDY? 

“I’m a lifetime connoisseur of great candy and chocolate,” says Paul. “I’m always trying new things. When I find something with a unique flavor combination and great quality, it gets put in the store.”

LOCAL CANDY IS DANDY 

Paul sells some locally made products, including Margie G’s Rock Toffee; a soft brittle called Better Than Brittle; Oscura Chocolate’s peanut brittle; and four flavors of Ginger Elizabeth chocolate bars: vanilla bean toffee almond, salty cocoa nib brittle, crunchy crepe and hazelnut, and crispy coconut kaffir lime (his personal favorite).

A DIVERSE PRODUCT MIX 

The store carries 400 to 500 products at a time, about equally divided between artisanal candies, international confections and nostalgic American sweets like Goo Goo Clusters and Necco Wafers. Says Paul, “It’s like a good wine shop.”

BEST IN CLASS 

Paul was planning to carry caramels and truffles from the Bay Area when he stumbled upon local company Puur Chocolat, owned by award-winning pastry chef Ramon Perez. “His stuff is actually better than anything from the Bay Area,” says Paul. “His sea salt caramels are the best we’ve ever tried.” 

1012 Ninth St.; (916) 905-4115; andyscandystore.com