Map of Grand Canal Shoppes
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S., Las Vegas
Oompa Loompas invaded the Strip on Thursday to welcome a new candy store to Las Vegas.
IT’SUGAR — a 5,000-square-foot behemoth the owner says is the city’s largest candy store — opened in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian.
The store is the national candy franchise’s third Las Vegas location but the only one with a Willy Wonka theme. New York New York and Town Square mall house smaller IT’SUGAR shops.
The store is one of several new candy shops to open on the Strip recently.
“We pulled out all the stops,” said owner Jeff Rubin, the store’s chief gummy bear, as he calls himself. “Nobody had taken the Wonka brand and developed it.”
More than 1,000 square feet of the shop is dedicated to Wonka goods: PixyStix, Gobstoppers, Scrumdiddlyumtious bars and Runts.
Stuffed animals in the likeness of Nerds candies line the shelves, while mannequins model one-of-a-kind leather and Swarovski crystal Laffy Taffy and SweetTarts jackets. Each retails for $2,500.
Thursday, actors dressed as Oompa Loompas hawked oversized boxes of candy, while stilt walkers entertained guests.
The store sells more than just Wonka candy. Bulk food bins overflow with chocolate rocks, yogurt pretzels and M&Ms. Shelves hold soaps and creams with candy themes. Novelty items, both G- and X-rated, fill displays.
“After 11 years of selling candy to overprivileged, Park Avenue 8-year-olds, I wanted to create something for an 18-year-old on their way to detention,” said Rubin, who got his candy start in New York City.
IT’SUGAR has 24 locations worldwide.
The Venetian store is located next to Tao, and Rubin hopes to attract a similar crowd as the nightclub: 18- to 28-year-olds looking for a good time.
“It’s not just another retail store,” Rubin said. “We tell our story in a unique way.”