style candy shop opens next to popular Tucson taco stand
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Cristina Gastelum, who co owns the business with her husband, Rafael, said they’ve had the taco stand for 13 years, including eight at its current location.
She said they originally planned to open a restaurant in the building, but when licensing didn’t work out, they decided to keep the taco stand and open the candy store.
It seemed like a good idea since there were no stores of its kind in the area.
“They are all on the south side,” she said. South side candy stores include Funland, 5125 S. 12th Ave., and Dulceria Mis 3 Cochitas, 5358 S. 12th Ave.
Tamarind and chili covered candies, milk candy, caramel wafers and more are available individually behind the counter or in bags stacked on shelves at Karamelo King.
“Little kids want a whole bag, and their moms say no,” said the Gastelums’ daughter, Christie, age 11. “So they get a little piece instead.”
Individual pieces of candy range in price from 10 cents to $1.50.
The most popular sellers in the store, though, are the piatas. The Gastelums order 32 of them each month.
Brightly colored piatas hang from the ceiling and sit on the floor against the walls. Angry Birds, Spider Man, Mickey Mouse and even Justin timberland boots for men Bieber are among the many the store has in stock.
Piatas sell fast on Fridays and Saturdays when people are picking up last minute items for parties.
The girls in the family work together to make custom centerpieces and cake decorations as well. They are currently working on Angry Birds centerpieces.