Martha and I visited the store in New York City’s West Village a few weeks ago. We were both excited to see all of our favorite Swedish, Danish and Finnish treats. What was most exciting for me though was the streamlined store design.
Husband and wife owners Stefan and Florencia Ernberg, modeled the store off one of the candies they sell. It’s called Sockerbit, a Swedish marshmallow that literally translates to “sugar cube”, which is exactly what it looks like. So the store is completely white with rounded edges everywhere. It’s a futuristic pick n’ mix.
What most people may not know is that the Swedish really love their candy. Stefan, who’s originally from Southern Sweden, in Båstad, describes his home country as having a “candy culture”.
“It’s always been like that. … I think every Swede knows that when you were young, you’d take your weekly allowance and you’d go and buy your candy’s worth of that. …And since it starts when we’re so young. Later on as adults, everyone, keeps eating it,” Stefan said.
Stefan and Florencia both had experience working in the candy business before, and saw a market for this piece of Swedish culture in New York. So far as Stefan knows, Sockerbit is the only store of it’s kind in the U.S.
“It is a thing a lot of Swedes think about but no one takes the step. We thought about it and we took the step because we had that previous experience with the factories. “
While candy is the focus of the store, there are many other Scandinavian treasures for sale.
“The star of the store is Swedish pick n’ mix candy, then apart from that we wanted to compliment the store with other candy as well. We have chocolate bars as well, some marshmallows, and then we also have …meatball mix, coffee roll mix, different syrups for drinking … A little bit of what any Swede might be after,” described Stefan “Then … we have lots of different design from Denmark, from Sweden …we wanted a store with other Scandinavian products. To make it a full Scandinavian experience.”
Currently the Ernberg’s only have one store, but they have plans to expand. Soon they’ll be selling their pick n’mix candies online, and by next year plan to have another New York store. They hope to build Sockerbit into a franchise.