My first visit to Dylan's Candy Bar in New York City was a thrill. There were mannequins in candy dresses and enough candy of every variety to fill a multi-level flagship store in Manhattan. Dylan Lauren, daughter of design mogul Ralph Lauren, expressed her love of candy in a way we had never seen before and succeeded in overwhelming shoppers with vintage treat, playfully over-sized candy and items branded exclusively to Dylan's Candy Bar. It is a marketing girl's dream come true - color, flavor and nostalgia all rolled into one. Everyone can afford a little candy, right? It's genius.
So I was surprised and intrigued when I heard that a Dylan's Candy Bar had opened at the Grand Traverse Resort in northern Michigan. I knew that Dylan had opened a handful of shops around the country, but to me it seemed unlikely" that a resort in northern Michigan" would be the short list for potential outlets.
But sure enough, I was there and saw it with my own eyes (see above). There are actually two locations at the resort, a Dylan's Candy Bar and a separate Dylan's Candy Cafe, a place to relax and eat their homemade ice cream. Red Velvet Cake ice cream, anyone?
To truly enjoy and appreciate Dylan's Candy Bar, you need to visit her flagship location in New York. What I saw in Michigan was pretty and a source for her branded items (t-shirts, plates, beach towels) - certainly great for souvenirs from a golf vacation, but it doesn't live up to the design aesthetic and wonder of what I saw in New York, not even close.
But considering that Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park (about an hour away) was named one of the country's most beautiful places by Good Morning America, maybe northern Michigan will be a "sweet spot" for new business after all.