Jillian Rennar wears a rather large gold anchor around her neck, symbolic of her new business at 721 Main Street in Montauk called Candied Anchor, a candy store that is so much more.
Two huge crystal chandeliers light up the small space, which at just 220 square feet is filled to capacity with nostalgic-type candies, such as Smarties, Red Hots, Mary Janes, and Fruit Stripe gum, plus gourmet candies, fresh popcorn, frozen sorbets, drinks, and party decorations and treats.
Born and raised in Montauk, Ms. Rennar, 23, is known for her photography, which decorates a small portion of the store and sells at arts and crafts fairs in the area. She knew she wanted to open a business in the hamlet, and after careful research she hit upon the candy store.
“I wanted to start something fun, something fresh,” she said on Monday while a group of youngsters huddled outside, perhaps searching their pockets for coins. The candy sells by the piece or the pound, and customers are welcome to help themselves at the self-serve candy bar.
“It’s a unique variety of candy that you can’t find elsewhere,” she said, adding that she offers chocolate-covered bacon and beef jerky. “People get intrigued by it. If you like the combination of chocolate and salt, you’ll like it,” she said in response to a visitor’s grimace.
Against the advice of her parents and friends, she opened on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, one of Montauk’s busiest and most boisterous weekends. “It was nice,” she said, and less hectic than she had thought it might be.
What she’s aiming for is a 1950s sweet shop with a modern sensibility, Ms. Rennar said. She plans to be very selective with her inventory and samples before she puts anything on the shelves.
Hand-pulled taffy, goat’s milk caramels, vegan marshmallows, truffles, gluten-free candy, balloons, pinatas, custom-made party garlands, and candles are offered as well.
She also sells products from Dawn’s Delicious Delights, her mother’s line that includes cookies, cakes, and pies in a jar. From her home in Montauk, Dawn Rennar whips up brownies, scones, and muffins and specializes in weddings and shower treats.
More about Jillian Rennar’s products can be found online at candiedanchor. com. At present, the shop is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and she plans to extend the hours in summer.