Sweet Dreams Coming True
Satmar businessman Avraham Yida Schwartz purchased "Sweet Expressions" in Crown Heights and tells CrownHeights.CH about creating a dream-like store.
A Satmar chossid who was a partner in a chocolate and candy company is bringing his expertise to the Lubavitch residents of the Crown Heights neighborhood.
Avraham Yida Schwartz, 30, from Monroe, NY, has purchased the "Sweet Expressions" shop conveniently located on Kingston Avenue and Union Street, and plans a total overhaul - inside and out.
One of only two kosher candy stores in this Jewish area, the shop was opened by residents Avrohom and Ruti Benarroch with many expectations but with time took a back seat to its growth.
Locals with a sweet tooth got used to traveling to Boro Park and Williamsburg. Schwartz believes he can make them stay in "Kan Tzivah."
"I see a great demand in the neighborhood for a good quality store such as this," says the friendly fellow, as he draws plans to renovate the store. "We will have competitive prices. Same prices or better than the competitors in other neighborhoods."
He told CrownHeights.CH the store will be completely renovated and redesigned with a new opening facing Union Street with shaded cafe-style outdoor seating for 30 throughout the year.
"We have already fixed the equipment and are fully stocked because we will try to remain operational during the renovations," the father of 3 said. "I'm asking everyone to be patient - it will be worth it."
In addition to making the store roomier and sleek, Schwartz is combining a line of products proven successful in Jewish stores like "Oh Nuts," "Ice Cream House" and "Sprinkles."
"We will have a large selection of chocolates and candy bins. The back of the store will serve all kinds of soft dairy and parve ice cream, frozen yogurts, gelato and razzles. Another section will have french crepes, Belgian waffles and hot nuts," he says.
There will also be a full line for those watching their weight - natural fruit shakes, soft sorbet and low fat frozen yogurts. All new elegant gift and simcha platters will be available too.
Ironically, lately it has been the non-Lubavitch chassidim helping to give locals reasons to stick around.
Yoeli Glick, also a Satmar chossid, runs the Glick's bakery department in Empire Kosher and Levi Gombo, a Boyan chossid, opened a branch of his Heimishe Gombo's Bakery on Kingston Avenue. Schwartz, a former partner in a New York based sweets and nuts company, now joins that group.
He hopes to bring "the hungarishe taste to the people of Crown Heights" and for that he'll remain open late hours, especially Thursday and Motzoei Shabbos.
In recent years he's become more familiar with Lubavitchers as his office in upstate New York is next door to Chabad of Orange County, directed by Rabbi Pesach Burston.
In fact, he says, Rabbi Burston sometimes uses his office space for the bochurim to sleep for Shabbos.
Schwartz says he's hiring more employees for the store, to ensure a better customer experience. Yet most of all, he'd like to hear from the customers themselves what they want.
"Please stop by and tell us what products you are looking for us to carry," he states. "I want to create a shopping experience that will make people want to come back."