Less than two weeks of opening an American lolly shop at Miranda, owner Lukas Melrose is flat-out with customers wanting a taste of the states.
His family-run business, USA Candy Factory, on the Kingsway, has been inundated with lolly-loving fans of anything and everything you would find in a typical American corner store.
Think Cheetos, Twinkies, strawberry Pop Parts, jalapeno cheese crisps, Cap’n crunch cereal and Big Red gum, washed down with a Snapple, raspberry Coca-Cola, the bizarre (or delicious Dr Pepper) and one of the eight or so Fanta cans.
Forget basic milk or dark chocolate – here you’ll find M & M’s in espresso and caramel mint, and the ever-popular chocolate Hershey bars and red velvet Oreo cookies.
School playground Warhead dares are all the rage again, and Jolly Ranchers are a far cry from your average stick of Hubba Bubba.
And there’s savoury – more than 200 different types of mustards and sauces, from habanero, to simmering pulled-pork, pumpkin pie puree, and 100 per cent maple syrup from Vermont.
Mr Melrose has imported these American products for more than a decade, supplying to retailers including Aldi, before he saw an opportunity to launch as an independent retailer.
“There is so much of a demand for this sort of stuff – everyone wants these American-themed things that are really iconic,” he said.
“The flavours are so different to what is available here because the US market is catering for its 320 million people.”
Interestingly, the store has been a go-to for Sydney’s coeliacs.
“Most people think it’s just for kids but the majority of customers are actually adults,” Mr Melrose said.
“Yes there’s more sugar in this stuff but most people don’t know that many of the products are gluten-free, and Kosher.”
He says the shop is packed during school holidays.
“Lots of people are travelling, going on road trips, camping, doing barbecues, and having kids’ parties so it’s crazy busy,” he said.
The Sylvania Waters father-of-three, who spent six years of his childhood in the US, has become quite the Willy Wonka of the shire.
“I grew up in America, went to school in Connecticut, and my dad worked in New York, so Hershey’s were my Cadbury,” he said.
“I’m the coolest dad at school.
“But my kids don’t get anything for free – they have to put the rubbish out to earn a treat.”
561 Kingsway, open 7 days.