It’s safe to say that the Outrigger team is pretty excited about the latest new shop to open at the Waikiki Beach Walk. And with good reason. Candy Bar Hawaii is a mecca of beautifully-displayed candy and snacks from Hawaii and around the world.
Dirck Noordhoff, Managing Partner of Candy Bar Hawaii, took the time to tell us about his delicious new venture (and offer us a sample or two!).
Congrats on the opening! We understand your background is in merchandising and retail. So, how did you get interested in candy?
Correct. Retail has been in my blood for a long time and I wanted to get back into it. Most recently I owned and sold a market research firm. But I love to create, and I’ve had the idea of opening a candy bar for years. My vision was to create a fun and clean environment for a candy store. And I think we accomplished that! Candy Bar Hawaii offers a collection of stuff from all over the world, and also from Hawaii.
What are your current favorites?
Bit-O-Honey - it’s an old-time classic, but I’ve always loved it! I’m also really enjoying the vanilla caramels.
What’s your top seller so far?
We’ve only been open for a few weeks, but so far customers are responding really well to the solid, hand-dipped, whole-kernel macadamia nuts. You won’t find a fresher chocolate-covered macadamia nut anywhere! Customers also seem to love our tropical flavor lollipops, like Pineapple Mojito, Mai Tai and Blue Hawaii. We’ve also had a great response to the pick-n-mix selection.
Pick n mix? What does that mean, exactly?
It’s our bulk candy bins. Customers can literally pick and choose what they want to put in their bag, and pay based on weight. It’s convenient and fun for our customers - plus, shopping in bulk means less packaging, so we can feel good about that.
Why did you decide to open at Waikiki Beach Walk?
That’s an interesting question, because I was very particular about wanting to open Candy Bar Hawaii at Waikiki Beach Walk specifically. First and foremost, I wanted a safe environment for customers - and Waikiki Beach Walk obviously offers that. Beyond that, I love that Outrigger Enterprises Group [owner of Waikiki Beach Walk] is a locally-based, family-run company.
Any special tips / advice for guests coming to Waikiki?
Around this area [Waikiki], I usually recommend Leonard’s Bakery, Rainbow Drive-In and Diamond Head Market for local eateries. And, if you’re looking for something active - Diamond Head Hike!