YES …THERE REALLY IS A ROBIN …
and her vision, energy, & passion for candy is reflected in every ROBIN’S Candy Shop location. Robin and her dedicated “Treat Team” have helped to make ROBIN’S a unique and sweet mecca for candy lovers near and far.
Sweet Dreams Really Do Come True.
Robin Helfand grew up hearing stories about the soda fountain and candy shop her grandparents owned in Washington Heights, NY, during the 1930s. As a child in the ‘60s, Robin spent many an afternoon with her Nana and Poppa tasting treats and meeting shop owners stocking the barrels and towers of sweets packed floor to ceiling in the candy emporiums on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Robin learned a lot from her grandfather during those visits—he would emphasize that people want to feel good about the places where they shop. It’s a lesson she has taken to heart. From the warm “Team Robin” welcome as you enter the shop, to the smile on the back of her signature “round-tuits” given with each purchase, a visit to ROBIN’S Candy Shop is always memorable.
For the past nine years, Robin Helfand has gone about the sweetly-serious business of making her shops into truly one-of-a-kind retail destinations. Robin’s diverse business background has certainly prepared her for the task. After receiving her BA/BS from Tufts University in Medford, MA, she earned a Marketing MBA from Cornell University. Robin then joined Proctor & Gamble’s Brand Management team in its food division and worked in the Marketing and Financial practices of McKinsey & Co’s NY office before joining Dean & Deluca, New York’s famous specialty food importer and retailer. At Dean & DeLuca, Helfand found her passion for retail. She helped grow the company’s catering and direct sales business, and was instrumental in expanding its operations, ultimately becoming the first female manager at Dean & Deluca’s original store on Prince Street in New York City.
Robin moved out of New York City to raise her three teenagers in New England. The move was an opportunity to return to the world of retail. She joined forces with Miles Cahn, owner of Coach Farm (and founder of Coach Leather). Cahn—known for his small batch goat cheeses—had been one of Robin’s early vendors at Dean & Deluca. She came on-board to help introduce the fine cheeses on a broader scale to retailers throughout the country.
In 2004, Robin made her first solo foray into the retail food business with Millerton Market (Millerton, NY), a bakery, gourmet specialty food shop and catering service inspired by her time with Dean & DeLuca. How Robin ended up focusing exclusively on candy was actually the result of a happy accident: the market’s bread ovens made the store so hot, the chocolates would melt. “It came down to selling hot bread…and ’hot’ chocolate, or turning our focus from bread to chocolate,” Robin says. “We chose chocolate!”
Today, her loyal customers and wide-eyed first-time visitors are glad she did.
At ROBIN’S Candy, the mix has grown from fine, hand crafted chocolate truffles to the broadest array of sweets including American classics, imported delicacies, and creative gifts. Smiles and memories of long forgotten favorites are tucked ‘round every corner inviting customers to select from the wide variety of carefully curated items.
First-time customers become regulars, returning time and again for the happy shopping experience that defines each ROBIN’S Candy Shop visit and everyone leaves with a signature “ROBIN’S travel toothbrush. After all, ROBIN’S is the candy store with a conscience—and, of course, says Robin,“we need our customers to “keep that sweet tooth healthy!”
Her Poppa would be proud!