Work We Do: Jim Michta, the Candy Man

Hello, my name is Jim Michta and I’m the Candy Man, here making all the Easter candies for Easter.

Right now, we’re in heavy duty making rabbits, as many as we can make. We only have like five weeks left before Easter. 

My wife’s grandfather was the original candy man. He bought a house out here to retire back in the ’60s and he started making rabbits in his garage as a side hobby. A lot of people started going there and it got out of hand. Then he bought the building here where we are presently. It was a gas station and he turned it into the candy shop. My wife’s father and brother ran it for a while and my mother in-law and father in-law ran this store for like 10 years. My wife and I are originally from the Greenlawn-Huntington area. Then we moved out here and wound up taking over, making the candy, my wife and I.

We’ve been out here since 1988. It’ll be 30 years this year. Time is flying by. It’s just a matter of time, you figure out the routine after a while. We’ve figured out what we need for each season.

On Mondays, I make a lot of the creams, jellies. We cut it up on Tuesday, roll it and then it sets overnight. Then on Wednesday, we’ll dip it in either milk chocolate or dark chocolate. On Fridays, we wind up making the barks and the peanut brittles or anything else we need to fill in.

It’s one of the only candy shops that makes candy here. Every rabbit here is made for Easter right here and we make the chocolate baskets. We don’t make things like jelly beans or gummy bears, stuff like that; but a lot of the stuff we make right here and sell here, fresh.

I enjoy it. It’s just a sweet, sweet job.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.