Posts Tagged ‘Candy Bar’

A few weeks ago, a colleague at Candy.com told me about a Southern California-based event planner who has created candy buffets for Oprah, the Emmy Awards, American Idol, celebrity weddings, etc.

This inquiring mind had to find out: Who is this confectionery Wonder Woman?

Turns out, it’s Jackie Sorkin—and she really is Wonder Woman (step aside Lynda Carter). Jackie is the founder of Custom Candy Buffet Bars and Southern California Wedding Planner. On top of that, she’s a heavy-duty blogger, brand new mom, and soon-to-be star of a TV series about her candy catering empire. (Note to self: Do not let the kids read this because they will think you are a slacker.)

Jackie kindly agreed to chat with Candy.com to get the straight dope on her booming Custom Candy Buffet Bars business in Hollywood.

Buckle in …

Candy.com: I know your Custom Candy Buffet Bar business launched after years of event planning in New York City and Los Angeles. What was the light bulb moment that led you to candy?

Jackie: I love things that are pretty and candy certainly is that! I began creating custom candy creations for clients events and they were received so well that I thought, “There is something to this candy thing.” Then I began doing more and more event shows and expos and, since I am so competitive, I wanted all the attendees at my booth chatting with ME! So, I created some really great Custom Candy Buffet Bars and just like that, I WON! My booths were always swamped with guests and people flipped for my candy.

Candy.com: On your blog, “The Fabulous Fun Adventures of Jackie Sorkin & The Hollywood Candy Girls,” you talk a lot about your sweet entourage. How do the Candy Girls fit into your business?

Jackie: My Candy Girls are my six lil’ sisters. The girls and I are like a family and they are a major part of my business. They are very well recognized in Hollywood since we do so many events there. Paparazzi can’t get enough of them either. They love to stage shots of the girls with celebrities and our candy. The Candy Girls are fabulously fun and assist in creating our events, assist clients at events with their candy, and, if that weren’t all, the girls are total Eye Candy themselves. They always bring a little extra sugar and spice to our events not to mention the mischief we find ourselves getting into every now and then. Jessica is our assistant and handles lots of the important details, too. We’d be so lost without  her.

Candy.com: Since you and the girls brush with fame quite often during your high-profile events, do you have any scoop on celebrities’ favorite candy?

Jackie: Yes of course! We know that Oprah‘s best friend Gayle King likes gummy candy, and sweet and sour stuff. Mega producer Diane Warren LOVES Good & Plenty, Paris Hilton loves anything sweet and flipped for our Candy Ka-bobs!

Candy.com: What’s the most over-the-top candy buffet/bar you’ve created so far?

Jackie: We created a fabulous custom candy buffet bar for the 2010 Emmy Awards recently, which was a huge hit. Everything we do is totally customized so you always get something new. Our designs range from cute and funky, to whimsical and retro, to clean, modern and elegant. It just depends on the client’s candy vision.

Modern Family's Nolan Gould chomped on a cake pop at Jackie's Emmy Awards candy buffet.

Candy.com: Any particular candies that seem to be a hit at most any event?

Jackie: Gummy candy and sours, or chocolate.

Candy.com: What’s your favorite candy? (We had to ask.)

Jackie: Ummm, kind of hard to answer but I’ll say … jelly beans (the old school kind).

Candy.com: I understand you could be reality star Bethenny Frankel’s long lost sister (the sister she doesn’t know exists … yet). What characteristics do you share with Ms. Frankel?

Jackie: I LalaLOVE Bethenny Frankel to the 1000 trillionth power. I could answer this question for days and it’s my fave question from you. Well, what we have in common is an insane work ethic, the desire to succeed in such a major way, and the endless efforts we expel to grow our companies. I also just had my first baby who, like Bethenny’s baby Bryn Hoppy, was also a surprise. My daughter’s name is Isabella. (She is the heiress to the candy empire and she is totally delicious).

Jackie Sorkin's little Bella is darling and delicious.

I have an amazing husband who really gets me and has the patience of a saint, but I’m sure he also looks at me some days and thinks, “Babe, you are so nuts. Chill out!” Bethenny is hysterical and pure personality, yet she is vulnerable and so real. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I embody the same qualities and I make no excuses for who I am. My favorite thing about myself is that I keep it real and always will. I say what I think, I believe really hard work pays off, and I dream BIG. Really BIG! I think life is short so I make it sweet and fun.

Candy.com: What’s the next “Fabulous Fun Adventure” for Jackie Sorkin?

Jackie: What’s next for us, WOW! What isn’t? I mean we have 101 things going on at once it makes my head spin like a whirly pop. What our friends, fans, and clients can look forward to is a reality show based on our crazy candy business to launch on a major network as well as the opening of our retail store; franchising our candy buffet and candy catering business; more and more clients and major events; perhaps planning a proper wedding for my husband and I since we never got to experience one but we totally deserve a super mega-fun party; partnerships with major players in the world of candy; and hopefully getting to create something for the cutest girls in town: the Obama girls, Sasha and Malia.

And with that I thank you Candy.Com for this super duper fun interview and to the world. We look forward to making all your candy dreams come true.

xoxo – Jackie & The Candy Girls

Candy.com thanks Jackie & The Candy Girls for the interview and all of the gorgeous photos.* Stay tuned for more info about Jackie’s reality TV show, which sounds like Keeping Up with the Kardashians meets Ace of Cakes.

In the meantime, check out the following candy buffet bars created by Jackie and her Hollywood Candy Girls …



*Photos of baby Isabella and the pink, yellow, and orange candy buffet bar by Jessica Herrera Photography.

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Now that candy buffets are as common as cakes and cupcakes at weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc., I thought I’d check in with a handful of event planners to get their tips on building the best candy buffets, pitfalls to avoid, and trends they’re noticing. I’ve got some gems:

Tracey Baxter, Aisle Do, Charlotte, N.C.

- Offer multiple containers of the same candy to control traffic and add symmetry to the buffet design. If guests can access the same candy at two locations on the buffet, they wait in line for half the time.”

- Use scoops proportional to candy sizes. To determine if guests will get the right amount with each utensil, ask yourself, “Will this scoop provide a handful of this candy?”

- Know when to stop. Variety is important but more than 15 different types of candy presents too many options for a buffet to still be functional. Extreme variety does work well, however, when using a single candy type in multiple flavors such as jelly beans, taffy, rock candy, or chocolate gems.

- If your event is not bent toward specific flavors, name your candies something related to the theme. For example, with a nautical theme, “gummy melon O’s” could become “Melon Life Preservers.”

- Use signs to let guests know what family member or friend picked the candies and/or flavors they are enjoying.

Kim Byers, The Celebration Shoppe, Columbus, Ohio

- I spend a lot of time with others in this industry and I see a lot of candy tables. Almost every single one now has saltwater taffy on it. I think it has a great deal to do with nostalgia and the ability to get it in so many colors.

- In the past five months we’ve created printable candy table/buffet tags. They’re selling like hotcakes.

  • Candy Dish Tags from The Celebration Shoppe

Heather Kuhn, Sweetest Candy Buffets, Carmel, Ind.

- We’re seeing an interest in using multiple flavors of gourmet jelly beans and including “recipes” for eating those jelly beans together.Recently, we have had people inquiring about including unique items on their buffets, such as flavored popcorn or cake bites/balls.

Terri Altergott, ?Something Borrowed, Something New Events, Uxbridge, Mass.

- Routinely, I’m asked to create a visually interesting candy buffet. In a few weeks, we’re adding lots of bling to a candy table. Envision crystals with light dancing off of them and submersible lighting at the bottom of each apothecary jar to illuminate the table.

Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi, Clawson, Mich.

- While many containers come with lids, this often leads to broken glass and missing pieces. If you love the lids, present your display with the lids in place, but remove and store them away the moment your candy station is open.

- Consider a round table vs. a standard rectangular buffet to eliminate long lines and encourage guests to mingle around the serving station.

- Vase size is important! Use large, wide-mouth containers so guests can see what they’re getting and get at it easily. Variety in vase size and shape also keeps the eye engaged and the display interesting.

- Use thematic take-out pails or cello bags for guests to take candy home. Personalize the packaging with small stickers and ribbons.

Last tips:

- When ordering candy, be sure to place your order well in advance so that you have time to stage the buffet at home before the party and order more candy if necessary.

- Need inspiration? Check out these gorgeous candy buffets by NYC’s event planning guru, Amy Atlas.

Top photos by Amy Atlas

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in Candy, Candy Tips, Chocolate, Nostalgic/Retro, Novelty, Soft