The Largest Candy Store In The US Is In The Heart Of Ohio

Most only think about candy a few times a year. Halloween and Christmas are notable occasions for consuming sweets such as iconic candy corn and striped candy canes. Easter follows close with jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. But for Clevland native Thomas Scheiman, the candy business is a year-round affair. Scheiman owns what is claimed to be the largest candy store on the continent, right in the heart of Ohio. The b.a. Sweeties Candy Company is a confection authority that hosted over half a million visitors in 2022 and has a supply of candy that would make Willie Wonka pause in awe.

At any one time, the b.a. Sweetie Candy Co. could have close to $4 million in merchandise in stock. Over 800 bins of bulk candy, an abundance of jelly bean varieties, and over 300 types of soda sold in traditional glass bottles are just a few examples of what Sweeties has in store for candy fanatics who visit their massive 40,000-square-foot warehouse. It's a veritable champion of chocolates and paragon of Pop Rocks with confectionery surprises around every corner. But over the years, business at the largest candy shop in the U.S. has had its ups and downs, and success hasn't come as easy as taking candy from a baby.

How the b.a. Sweeties dream began

Candy has been a constant part of life for owner Thomas Scheiman since he was a youth, stocking candy at his grandfather's food store. He later participated in a work-study program with Ace Tobacco and Candy Co. During high school, eventually leaving the company as a general manager. In 1982, Scheiman purchased a wholesale candy distributor, Bag-A-Sweet Candy Co, and changed the name to b.a. Sweeties Candy Co. The venture wasn't an overnight success. 

As Scheiman once told News 5 Clevland, "I don't think I made any money the first two years." But it wasn't long before his luck turned around, and the store gained popularity. In 2010, Sweeties expanded by opening a store in Chandler, Arizona, the largest candy store in the state, and in 2012, Scheiman spent $3.5 million of his own money to buy the five-acre property where b.a. Sweeties resides today, and in 2015 he opened the biggest candy store in the country. 

Today, Scheiman's candy emporium sells nearly any kind of treat a person could think of. In a separate interview with News 5, he stated, "We can pretty much satisfy anybody from two to 92." Not only does b.a. Sweeties sell the trendiest candies of today, but they also specialize in bringing forgotten treasures back to the market. If you're getting on in years, looking to find a long-forgotten candy you adored as a child, the largest candy store in the U.S. is the place to do it.

Unique candy and special attractions

With such a selection, you'd be right to guess that b.a. Sweetie has some uncommon treats hiding in plain sight. While they do sell national, as well as regional brands of candy, they also sell sweets that would be difficult to find elsewhere. Pez dispenser collectors revel in the opportunity to purchase stock that isn't commonly sold, including a collection that features U.S. presidents. And although their traditionally stocked candies may not seem as appealing as the hidden gems, the candy store, being exclusively a sweets retailer, gets ahold of large stocks of other stores may pass on or sell out of, like pumpkin-spice-flavored Halloween Peeps. 

Even if you're not looking to stock up on chocolate or hard candies, b.a. Sweeties has other attractions worth giving a look at. Sweeties Golfland — which includes two 18-hole mini-golf courses — sits right next door to the candy warehouse. There is also a 5,000-gallon koi pond on the property, as well as the Sweeties Soda Shoppe, where you can relax with one of their over 200 kinds of soda to choose from or try one of their 36 flavors of homemade ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes and more. Though your dentist may object, the largest candy store in North America is well worth a trip if your sweet tooth is craving a unique confectionery experience.