Manzo married Tom’s daughter, and the couple decided after a rough Ohio winter to move to Arizona. They started Sweeties Candy in Chandler.
Now, years after Manzo got his start stocking shelves at Sweeties in Ohio, his two kids come into work with their dad at Sweeties in Chandler.
“I absolutely have sugar running through my veins all day,” said Manzo, Sweeties manager. “Candy—there’s jut something special about it. We sell happiness, one piece at a time. Everyone’s got a lot going on, but people walk through the door, and you have grandma and grandpa and mom and dad and kids, and there’s candy from all generations. Time just stops, and everything goes away, and everyone is happy.”
The business took root in Chandler in July 2010, Manzo said. Within the first few months at the first Sweeties location in Chandler, they had outgrown their space and later moved into what is now its current location.
“We have plenty of regulars who come to the store,” Manzo said. “We have a very loyal customer base, and we couldn’t do it without them and be as successful as we have been.”
Manzo said the entire operation is a team effort. Even his kids pitch in with the family business, which Manzo said would be impossible without the help and support of his wife and family.
“They come in and help out quite a few times. They come in and stock the shelves,” Manzo said. “It’s really cool to see them running around like—well, like kids in a candy store.”
Manzo said even as the business has fallen on hard times in the past, during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent business closures, he has remained steadfast in his faith and in the business.
“Coming to Sweeties is worth a trip from anywhere,” Manzo said. “We get people coming in from all across the Valley.”