By Hilary Sheinbaum
July 17, 2014

Sugar mogul Dylan Lauren recalls her global sweets pursuit.

It was Chupa Chups that sold me. I was studying in Europe when I discovered these irresistible Spanish lollipops. They were the first foreign candy I became obsessed with—and when I flew home, I filled an entire suitcase with them. It was the beginning of a long, sweet relationship. Now, everywhere I travel, I’ll visit local candy stores and emerge with at least 10 pieces of something.

My 5,000-item collection runs the gamut from Australian licorice (a personal favorite) to three-foot-tall French lollipops to candy-themed art (a beaded box of jujubes; a Swarovski-crystal Pez dispenser). I’ve learned that European candy packaging tends to be more classic, made of high-quality paper emblazoned with traditional paintings, while Japan skews more pop-modern, with glossy colors and kooky graphics. I’ll comb through groceries and pharmacies, where the coolest stuff might be hidden behind the cash register. Once, at Sweet Centre, in London’s Leicester Square, I found this amazing, oversize Wonka Bar sign. They asked, “What do you want with a giant piece of cardboard?” I said, “I saw the movie when I was six, and ever since I’ve dreamed of living in a candy fantasy world.” And now I do.

Dylan’s Candy Bar has six locations nationwide.

Hilary Sheinbaum is a freelance writer based in NYC. Follow her on Twitter at @hilary_she and on Instagram at @hilarywritesny.