Lookout, the Candyman!

Sugar Magnolia candy shop opens on Central Ave. in Pearl River

BY DYLAN SKRILOFF

Keller (l), Keller's wife Denise dressed as a jelly bean and Bobby Driscoll are bringing the sweets to Main St. (Central Ave., to be exact)
Keller (l), Keller’s wife Denise dressed as a jelly bean and Bobby Driscoll are bringing the sweets to Main St. (Central Ave., to be exact)

Lifelong candyman Royce Keller and business partner Bobby Driscoll held the grand opening of candy shop Sugar Magnolia last month on Central Ave. in Pearl River. The new shop brings a full array of candy options to downtown Pearl River, a village previously without its own candy specialty store.

Keller grew up in the candy business, his family the purveyors of Keller’s Confection in Wyckoff, NJ. He currently works full-time in distribution for Jelly Belly jelly bean company, but says there will be no conflict of interest with his local clients as no candy shop was located near Pearl River until he opened.

“I felt like Pearl River was missing this niche. We are growing, finding out what the local people like,” said Keller, whose shop features chocolates, chocolate covered fresh treats, Perry’s Ice Cream, Irish sweets to cater to Pearl River’s Irish contingent, holiday themed treats, nostalgia items, jelly beans, foreign and domestic candy bars and more. “The great thing about candy is we’re out to make people happy.”

What is something that has changed since he was a kid growing up in the industry?

“Sour is a lot bigger,” said Keller.

The shop is named after the song Sugar Magnolia from the Grateful Dead album American Beauty. Keller’s partner Bobby Driscoll is a music promoter who shares an affinity for the Dead with Keller. The title of this article is taken from the lyrics Candyman, also on the American Beauty album.

At the grand opening celebration Keller’s wife Denise dressed up as a giant jelly bean. Denise the bean said, “I’m delicious! I’m in the best place for a jelly bean to be.”

Sugar Magnolia’s is located on 3 West Central Ave. in Pearl River. Phone number is 845-201-8093.