An industry veteran, Minotti works full-time as operations manager for a candy wholesaler in Los Angeles. He said that after purchasing the 900-square-foot business in Redlands and paying rent, he and his partner had $1,000 left over to buy candy. They added more shelves, curbside castoffs like the old TV that still works and furnishings culled from Craigslist. Today theyve made enough to invest $15,000 to fatten their collections of vintage confections, novelties and toys, which include glass-bottled sodas made toy store in Eugene with sugar rather than corn syrup, banana-flavored bubblegum cigars, fake mustaches, Necco Wafers, Laffy Taffy, Slinkys, fake vomit, party poppers and disappearing ink. About 90 percent of our candy is made in America, Minotti said. Prices range from a 25-cent candy to more than $100 for a piece of Mexican or Haitian folk art. Their best-seller is a $22 Airzooka gun which fires blasts of air across the room. Wilkinson, who tastes everything, said that theres really no contest between the best of several of their more disgusting novelties: a tequila-flavored sucker embedded with a real meal worm or the chocolate-covered insects, each fetching $1.75.
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