Candy Man Jeff Rubin Captures America’s “Sweet Spot”
With a fast-growing chain of over 100 IT’SUGAR candy stores, high-profile licensing deals and powerful financial support, Jeff Rubin has captured America’s sweet spot.
“We offer a fun and entertaining experience for those looking for the intersection of attitude and fun,” says Rubin, a Boca resident who is CEO and “Chief Gummy Bear” of IT’SUGAR, the largest specialty candy retailer in the world.
Growing up in Michigan, Rubin remembers selling candy to his sixth grade classmates during recess. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he worked in the family’s Midwest candy stores before moving to Boca Raton in 1995 with his wife and young twins. He soon launched FAO Schweetz inside FAO Schwarz’ flagship New York store, followed by Dylan’s Candy Bar with Ralph Lauren’s daughter Dylan, in 2001. In 2006, he launched IT’SUGAR and hasn’t looked back.
“I wanted to create a different type of candy store – a place where people can have fun and escape the mundane,” says Rubin. “So, we poke fun at the rules of society.”
Rubin boasts some powerful candy partnerships, including an exclusive line of confections for Netflix’s “Stranger Things” series, a recently launched Elvis PEZ-Ley line and a partnership with “Saturday Night Live,” which has made IT’SUGAR’s “Schweddy Balls” a perennial seasonal favorite.
Most recently, Rubin re-created FAO Schweetz in the new FAO Schwarz store on Fifth Avenue, which drew long lines of patrons as soon as the doors opened this past November. After selling his company to BBX Capital (NYSE: BBX), a diversified holding company, in 2017, Rubin was able to tap into new resources to accelerate IT’SUGAR’s global expansion. He opened a high-profile store on Chicago’s Navy Pier last fall and is putting the finishing touches on a flagship store on the LasVegas Strip – the ideal location for a brand that stands for fun.
“I have loved candy and retail all my life,” says Rubin, who was recently elected to the Candy Hall of Fame. “I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world because I get to be the ‘Candy Man.’”