After 10 years — and about 100 bonbon food — Jeff Rubin abstruse that alike in boxy times, bodies don’t cut out adhering bears.
It’s allotment of what has accustomed It’Sugar, his Deerfield Beach-based, fast-growing bonbon abundance chain, to advance alike during the Great Recession.
Well, that and the company’s faculty of fun.
Rubin, architect and CEO of It’Sugar, angle his food as a stress-reliever for consumers. “You’re declared to appear in actuality and beam and accept a acceptable time,” Rubin said.
The retail abundance alternation carries acclaimed bonbon brands as able-bodied as its own private-label products, usually with a amusing twist. Among their avant-garde sweets, they accept the “world’s largest” boxes of Nerds and Acerb Patch Kids candies; It’Sushi Adhering Sushi, fabricated of marshmallows, licorice and acerb candies; and the Poop Shop, featuring — no antic — poop-themed candies.
For admirers of TV’s “Saturday Night Live,” It’Sugar has offered “Schweddy Balls,” fabricated of rice crisps, amber and brindled with salt.
And appear presidential acclamation time — about mid-September in retail time — get accessible for article “really big and scary,” promised business administrator Lauren Fleischer.
Jenna Ferber, 29, of Parkland, said It’Sugar is her go-to bonbon store. Both Ferber and arcade associate Chelsea Isreal, 24, of Coconut Creek, said the food admonish them of acceptable times in their youth.
The abundance “has amplitude ice chrism and bonbon necklaces — all the adolescence stuff,” Isreal said. “I never leave actuality after affairs something. It’s impossible.”
Having launched in South Florida 10 years ago, It’Sugar now has 96 locations throughout the country and is accepted to ability 100 food by year’s end, Rubin said. Another 20 are planned for 2017.
The aggregation has 60 advisers at its Deerfield Beach address and 700 to 1,000 advisers at its food nationwide, depending on the season. Every Friday, advisers accumulate in the It’Sugar appointment allowance for what’s alleged “Frideations,” brainstorming account for new candies and added innovations.
It’Sugar food are amid about the country, but concentrated in Florida, New York, California and Arizona.
The aggregation said it has averaged 5 percent increases in same-store sales — those food accessible at atomic a year. Total revenues in 2015 were $74 million, up from $68 actor a year earlier, the aggregation said. It’Sugar is bulging sales of $82 actor this year.
Out of caution, Rubin said he activated the brakes on abundance amplification affairs in 2009, as boxy bread-and-er times took hold. But bonbon angry out to be somewhat recession-proof, he said.
It’Sugar angry to clandestine disinterestedness in 2007 and 2012, adopting an bearding bulk of money from Prentice Capital Management and, later, Star Avenue Capital, the aggregation said. Those funds accept helped the alternation abide its abundance expansion.
Mario Ciampi, accomplice in Prentice Capital Management in Greenwich, Conn., said the close invested in It’ Sugar because it offers a customer experience. The abundance alternation is “fun, it’s colorful, music is blasting. Who doesn’t like candy?” said Ciampi, abacus the broker is admiring with the chain’s clip of growth.
Ciampi said Rubin is a “passionate guy. He lives the business.”
The son of a toy abundance operator, Rubin, 52, grew up alive summers in retail. At school, he would advertise Bubble Yum to added students. Rubin said he went on to abstraction economics at the University of Michigan and after accustomed his MBA at University of Miami in 1989.
His aboriginal attack into retail was the bonbon adverse in FAO Schwarz’ Manhattan toy abundance in 1996. He helped barrage Dylan’s Bonbon Bar in 2001 with Dylan Lauren, the babe of Ralph Lauren. That New York City abundance is still operating, while the FAO Schwarz alternation has back closed.
With that experience, he and his wife, Allison Rubin, developed It’Sugar — called non-traditionally to angle out as an aweless bonbon company. In a time back retailers were focused on convalescent bistro and abate portions, Rubin was alms outrageously big bonbon confined and boxes.
After the U.S. expansion, Rubin is because Europe for It’ Sugar. “They eat added sweets in Europe per capita than Americans do,” he said.
Andrew Reitman, Florida admiral of Nassau Candy, which makes and distributes bonbon for It’Sugar, said their 10-year affiliation has been a acknowledged one.
“Jeff is actual creative, innovative, a actual funny guy,” Reitman said. “And he’s apparently one of the hardest-working guys I know.”
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