Man in the Moon Candies, located at 203 W. 1st St. in the Canal Commons, is the place to go in Oswego if you’re looking for delicious treats with a personal touch. Inside, the shop is as adorably quaint as its name suggests. From horse-head lollipops to a milk chocolate miniature of Fort Ontario, to gummy animals skewered on kebobs, every piece of candy in the shop looks as delicious as it does cute.
Judging by its success since it opened in 2007, the confections sold at Man in the Moon don’t just look delicious. Amy Lear, owner of Man in the Moon Candies, comes from a long line of candy-makers and chocolatiers. According to the store’s website, Lear’s grandparents sold candy on West Seneca Street back in 1935, and many of the recipes she uses to make candy today are the same ones her family has been using for almost 80 years.
As it is a store inspired by family, it’s fitting that the candy-making at Man in the Moon is a collaborative effort. Alyssa Estus, an employee of Man in the Moon Candies and an Oswego State student, said that Lear, the head candy-maker Gretchen Hanley and the employees often team up to make the candy together.
“I’m really good at kebobs, the little gummy kebobs,” Estus said. “Recently I helped make our handmade caramel with cinnamon, covered in chocolate.”
Chocolate-covered cinnamon caramels are just one of the many seasonal items that Man in the Moon Candies is putting out this fall. They also have solid milk and dark chocolate leaves decorated in fall colors with truffles in the center and various pumpkin-themed items, like pumpkin-flavored truffles and pumpkin-flavored sponge candy.
Sponge candy, which originated in Buffalo, is one of the most popular items sold at Man in the Moon Candies. Though it was unfamiliar at first, many Oswego residents are now hooked on this regional treat. Estus described it as “like a crunchy malted milk ball, but with a lot more flavor.”
“It’s so popular in the holiday season that we can’t take reserve orders on it,” Estus said. “It flies off the shelves.”
Other popular products at Man in the Moon are the homemade fudge, particularly the sea salt caramel flavor, the caramel, which is one of Lear’s specialties, and the truffles, which come in flavors as varied as cappuccino, key lime, and mint.
Man in the Moon Candies is an astonishing little place, but the most surprising thing about it is that it hasn’t yet been discovered by the majority of Oswego State students.
“Whenever students walk in the door, they’re like ‘I had no idea this place was here,’” Estus said. “We just had two freshmen students come in and they were floored that this place existed.”
Man in the Moon Candies has something for every type of candy-lover out there. Whether you prefer something gummy or something crunchy, something simple or something decadent, something classic or even something you’ve never seen before, you’ll find it at Man in the Moon Candies.
“Pretty much anything you could want, there’s a really good chance we have it,” Estus said. “And if we don’t have it, come back in a week and we might have it.”
Man in the Moon Candies is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, until the end of October, the store will stay open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays because of the Oswego Farmers’ Market on West First Street. The store’s weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Estus urges students to find time in between their classes or on the weekend to come into town and visit the store, and the other shops in the Canal Commons, while the weather is still nice.
“When it’s so beautiful out, it’s nice to come with a bunch of friends, get a cup of coffee at Taste the World, and walk around here in the Commons.”