Philly food truck owner sells nothing but candy

Fulfill Latifah Lackey, the operator and operator of Candygyrl, a Philly food truck that sells nothing at all but sweet.

• Career pleasure: “Candy is happy, and marketing sweet is enjoyable. It’s nostalgia, it is whimsical, it is like currently being a child in a sweet shop.”

• Sweet trip: “When I acquired the truck it was in a sweet family — it used to be a Tastykake truck, so it was by now a Philly point.”

When Latifah Lackey was escalating up in North Philly in the 1980s, her grandmother applied to give her a dollar to go see Overlook Cookie, who was identified in her community as “The Sweet Lady.”

From the residing area of her dwelling, Skip Cookie sold every single kind of sweet conceivable, and, of system, some cookies, too.

“She was my hero,” Lackey said.

With $1, Lackey could get 100 items of sweet, like purple strawberry licorice laces which she’d use to tie the other candies with each other so she could take in them all at at the time.

“Life was good back then,” she explained.

Now, Lackey, a 45-12 months-old mother of two, nevertheless spends her money on candy, but now she’s also building a residing from it as the proprietor and operator of Candygyrl, Philly’s only all-candy food truck.

“I nevertheless really like candy, I just really don’t eat the earnings,” she stated.

Considering that 2014, Lackey has taken her truck across the region to festivals, community situations, company events, and anything in amongst. Together with a large range of well-liked candy — from Enjoyable Dip to large swirl lollipops — Lackey also provides unique creations like a halal gummy blend (built with beef gelatin alternatively of pork) and a cotton candy boat (a few scoops of cotton candy topped with gummy bears, gummy worms, and sprinkles).

But it’s not often uncomplicated currently being a sweet truck in a earth of ice cream and h2o ice vehicles.

“I generally tell people I’m not Mister Softee,” Lackey claimed. “People inquire, ‘Is this an ice product truck?’ No, it’s not. ‘Do you have water ice in there?’ No drinking water ice, no ice cream, no pretzels or anything. I provide sweet only.”

She’s even experienced detractors inform her sweet is on its way out.

“People tell me people will not be taking in sugar in the following couple several years and I’m like, ‘Are you significant? No, you may well not be ingesting sugar, but folks will generally want sweet,’ ” she explained. “I really don’t make sugar, I’m not Domino, I’m not Good Worth, but believe in me if I could, I would, and I’d market that, too.

“I’m heading to promote sweet until finally I die mainly because I believe that in me, and I imagine in what I want.”

Lackey’s foray into the company began in 2007, when she began creating sweet buffets for parties. She then commenced decorating mason jars and filling them with an assortment of candy to acquire on the road.

“I would go all around to cookouts and block functions to sell them,” she reported. “Everybody was coming up and buying them.”

Lackey’s aspiration of owning her possess sweet truck commenced all around 2010. To fund it, she diversified her hustles and began building and advertising salads, also.

“It was on my coronary heart so terrible, I needed this truck so poor,” she mentioned.

Lackey recalled going to the Manayunk StrEAT Foodstuff Pageant and just standing between the sea of meals vans, imagining herself there in a sweet truck.

“I stated, ‘I’m heading to be right here one working day selling candy,’ ” she stated. “I wrote every thing down how I preferred it.”

In 2012, Lackey located the automobile she’d been dreaming of — an outdated Tastykake truck from the late ’80s that was for sale at a dealership in Bellmawr, N.J. She purchased it and had it towed, but it would just take two a long time just before she could find the money for the wanted repairs and retrofitting to make it her personal.

Correctly, she debuted the truck on Halloween 2014, getting it to start with to WDAS-FM, the place her brother aided get her an interview with radio host Patty Jackson. She then went to North Philly and Spring Back garden, where she gave out candy for free of charge.

“People required to get stuff and I claimed, ‘But Halloween is totally free candy day,’ ” she recalled.

In the starting, Lackey drove the truck all-around Philly, but she’s identified additional good results taking it to occasions exactly where she can park and persons can occur to her, like the Made in The usa Competition, the July Fourth celebration on the Parkway, and, of study course, the Manayunk StrEAT Food Competition. Not too long ago, she catered an occasion for Urban Outfitters company headquarters, and when the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018, she brought her Candygyrl truck to the championship parade.

“As before long as the Eagles won that evening, everyone was hyped and the only issue I was imagining about is, I require to be at that parade with my truck,” she claimed.

Lackey also sells her sweet on the internet at candygyrl.com, has membership bins accessible, and just lately opened a sweet cart at the Style District.

Though she does not make her individual sweet, Lackey does make her have creations — like her cotton sweet boat and a sweet charcuterie board — and she deals her sweet in unique techniques, like her popular halal gummy blend, or her bash mix luggage, which consist of “only the excellent candies.”

Lackey stays on top rated of the latest in sweet land by attending sweet conferences and following TikTok, which she stated is driving sweet developments amongst youthful individuals.

Some candies, like Mary Janes and Caramel Lotions, do not provide nicely, so Lackey has discontinued individuals, but a single of her a lot more abnormal choices, chocolate-covered Swedish Fish, has been a strike.

Lackey claimed she does not have a most loved sweet anymore, but she does have 3 she eats all the time — gummy cola bottles peach rings and strawberry licorice laces, just like the type she utilized to obtain from Miss Cookie as a child.

“It’s so nuts, I never ever considered I’d be promoting sweet as a small business,” she reported. “But when I’m on my truck, I’m happy. It brings me happiness.”

Know somebody in the Philadelphia area whose story deserves to be advised — or anyone whose story you’d like to know? Send out recommendations for We the Individuals profiles to Stephanie Farr at [email protected] or get in touch with her at 215-854-4225. Send out tips via Twitter to @FarFarrAway.

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