January 10, 2012

Man Candy at Papabubble


Halfway between Yoyogikoen and Shibuya is Papabubble, a recently-opened artisanal candy store. Originating from Barcelona, the company has stores in nine other countries, including two in Japan: Shibuya and Nakano.

The minute you step inside, you get an incredible sugar rush. With brightly colored, beautifully made candies of all shapes and sizes all around you, you can see how it would be a hit with Japanese customers in particular.

The best thing about the store (aside from that they are very liberal with their candy samples) is their workspace, which has been made the focal point of the (fairly small) shop. The employees are engaged in a never-ending cycle of rolling warm sheets of candy, stretching it out to make sticks, and chopping them up to make individual candies.

The whole process had everyone in the shop and all the passers-by transfixed. (This photo was taken from the outside window.) It truly is a smart way of doing business: everyone likes candy, but few people today know how it's made. This way, they can not only draw attention to the traditional techniques of making candy, but also turn it into a performance, creating further interest for customers.

A bonus: the store is completely ok with photography and video. The employees seemed to be freely capitalizing on their attractiveness to entice even more people into the store. As my friend remarked, "What they're doing as a whole isn't amazingly remarkable, but they sure go about it in a savvy way."

The final result from that huge roll: a sweet strawberry-patterned candy.

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