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Sweet! LES street co-named for Economy Candy’s ‘Moishe’ Cohen

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | On Sat., July 29, two generations of Economy Candy store owners and extended family gathered at the corner of Rivington and Essex Streets. The occasion was to dedicate a street co-naming sign to Morris “Moishe” Cohen, one of the original family members who ran the store.

City Councilmember Christopher Marte was on hand to help unveil the shingle honoring the emporium’s patriarch.

(Photo by Clayton Patterson)

Local photojournalist Clayton Patterson got photos last week of family members posing with the new street sign.

Cohen served his country during World War II, and then his community upon his return. Economy Candy, which opened in 1937, was in the same building Cohen moved into as a new immigrant. Upon returning from the war, he took over the business with his brother-in-law, and they expanded into selling candy, chocolate, gift baskets, dried fruit, nuts and more.

The treats mecca became a neighborhood staple and safe haven for local young people looking for work and a place to socialize. Cohen was famous for standing outside the store in any kind of weather and chatting with customers and locals while smoking his trademark cigar. He helped keep kids off the street, inspired them to open businesses of their own, and grew to be a community fixture, just like his shop.

(Photo by Clayton Patterson)
Economy Candy’s owners also received a proclamation from the mayor last July when the store celebrated its 85th anniversary. (Photo by Clayton Patterson)

In the early 1980s, the store moved a few doors west to its current location, 108 Rivington St. Also during that time, Cohen’s son Jerry and wife Ilene took over running the store. After 30 years, they passed the reins to their son, Mitchell, and his wife, Skye.

The street co-naming was followed by an all-day block party in front of Economy Candy.

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