Candy Store

Dear Mr. Coney Island...
I recall visiting Nathans in the 1960s and there being the most fantastic candy store right across the alley from Nathans on Stillwell Avenue.  There was a very old couple who ran the shop and they had the best carmel popcorn that I ever had in my life -- even until this day.  The store had giant colorful lolipops all around.  Do you have any history about this store?  Is it still standing?
- Bruce Baron

Hello Bruce,

You must be thinking of Williams Candy. At the time it was owned by Al Kirsch. The good news: it's still there! Come back and have a jelly apple!


Al Kirsch was my uncle. However,he was not the "old" man referred to. The old couple were my grandparents (on my mom's side of the family), Sam and Bertha Kirsch.
The caramel, to this day, was the best I have ever tasted. Thanks for remembering.
Mark Handwerker

Boy that was a good memory booster. I remember an old boyfriend working at your family store and always arrived at my home smelling like cotton candy.
I assume Joseph (Jerry) and Sheila are your cousins as their folks owned Mom Kirsch;s along with Clarice and Arlene's folks.

Sam and Bertha Kirsch are my great grandparents.. My parents shelly and bruce kirsch have told me many stories about the shop and how on the weekends they would go and help out "Pop Pop" and make the carmel corn. My twin sister and I both live in Atlanta, GA now, but on our last visit we brought our baby sons (age 11 months and 5 months) to the old stomping ground and took some pics in front of the store.

Ronni, is your mother Celia (maiden name Katz) married to Abraham or Joe Jacobson?

my mother celia jacobson was your grandmothers aunt . i ronni am your grandmothers first cousin.i remember while on a date going into the candy for a jelly apple. those were the days .if kimberly or bruce or any kirsch reads this contact me because i would like to send you a picture of ruth kirsch .e-mail

I don't know if any of you who previously commented would come back and read this but, Al Kirsch was my great, great uncle (or something to that extent). Is it true that he at one point own the Cyclone? I would love to know! My great great grandfather was Sam Wagner who was known as the "godfather" of Coney Island for running the sideshows.

Genna, my great grandpa is Sam Wagner, who are your parents/grandparents ?

I was walking my parents german shepard (Yogi) today in CI and passed that candy store. It smelled so good but am on a never ending diet and didnt go in. I met an older gentleman named Abe with a walker that lived in CI (White apt. buildings by Seebreeze Park) since 1962. He asked if he could take pics of the dog. I think he said he was in the camera business. We talked about the rides & the petting zoo that I remember going to on surf ave as a kid. I showed him the pics I took on my walk today and he said "Not bad pics from that camera" Nice guy that I hope to see again

Great to hear Mark Handwerker talk of the candy store. I lived next store to the Kirsches and the Helen and Harry Handwerker and family. Mark's sister Ronny was born two days after me on March 25th so I always think of her when it's my birthday. So many, many memories of Coney Island. How every Sunday my father would take us first to the B&B (?) carousel and then if Harry was at the custard stand we'd get free custard and then ride the bumper cars as much as we wanted. And of course jelly apples and cotton candy at the candy store. I still remember the scar on Claire Lynn's hand when she burnt it on the hot mixture for the apples. Your family made Coney Island so special and I was so glad to hear you. We moved to Queens in 1966 and I have been back to Coney a few times but now live in Sweden. Would love to hear from you!

Justin Wagner, Sam Wagner's son was my father. My email address is
I would welcome any emails from distant relatives. Would be great to catch up.

Hi, my name is Barbara (Silverman) Glenday and I am a great granddaughter of Sam Wagner. My grandparents Al and Sylvia Kirsch owned Mom Kirsch's along with Joe and Tootsie (Sylvia) Kirsch.

My father Michael Meyerowitz (which has since been shortened to Myers) worked at the candy store as a teenager. He has told me a lot of stories of working at the store, and working for Al Kirsch and the Handwerkers. He talks about the frozen custard stand and the bumper cars next to William's and Nathan's. My favorite story is of this one day that they (I assume a Handwerker) asked him to work at the bumper cars, and how he'd have to chase the kids off the ride who refused to get off. He told them he was going back to the candy store and never working at the bumper cars again. I'd love to hear from anyone who remembers him. My email address is

Hi I am Leo Samuel Wagner, named in part for "the Godfather" my grandfather Professor Sam Wagner. Stephen Wagner posting above is my younger brother. Our father was Justin Wagner who followed in his father's footsteps as the highest paid barker (pitchman) in Coney Island. When I was a child in the 1950's my father allowed me to do the pitch selling admission tickets to the freak show that he represented. It was a lot of fun and had a lasting effect on my choice of livelihood. When my brother and I went on the rides we were comped on all rides. In addition my brother and I used to be taken by our father to his brother's (Raymond) gift shop where we were gifted. My father, my brother and I often ate at Kirsch's where we met our cousins Jerry and Sheila. I would love to hear from my long lost relatives :).

My uncle Sam owned Williams Candy .My uncle Al (aka Izzy) owned Mom Kirsch's and was partners with my father, Joe Kirsch. Al Kirsch never owned William's.

My father Michael Annibell worked in the Nathan's custard stand during the mid 1960's. I remember a guy he worked with named Seymor who I believe married one of thhe Handwerkers, but I'm not positive. Walnut and Pistachio were my favorites and My father would bring them home sometimes I remember we had a small bottle (an empty hip flask) of walnut extract and another of pistachio that he brought home that they used to flavor the custard. I also remember Harry Handwerker who ran the Scooters (bumper cars) next to the custard stand. I would ride for hours when he and my dad got to talking.

Wow....look at all my cousins ! I too have the Royal Blood of the Isle of Conley in my veins. Ginny Einhorn is my mom. Which makes Prof Sam my great grandfather. My dad was Isaac "Ike" Einhorn, son of my grandfather Izzy who owned Einhorn Bros Cash Registers on W15 th & Mermaid. My mom in law Phoebe Strum Kane's mom owned "Betty' s Nuts" further west on Mermaid.My dad's uncle, Willie Hausner, owned the bumper cars adjacent to the custard stand by Nathan's. My dad worked there as a young teen during the war. My dad's cousin Eddie Hausner would sadly die in combat at the Battle of the Bulge.
Please feel free to contact me as well as reach out on Facebook where I maintain a group called, "Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay.

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