By Gail Slogoff
Who isn’t head-over-heels in love with confectionaries of all kinds – chocolates, licorice, gummies, lollys, caramels, truffles, fudgy, nutty, gooey sweets? If you are like most adults, you were probably obsessed with candy as a child, mostly because you weren’t allowed to have it as much as you wanted. And, of course, you try to keep your own offspring away as much as you can to protect their pearly whites.
But forget all those rules when planning your child’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah party. Today people are coming up with all sorts of creative ways to incorporate such delectable delights into a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party so that kids and adults can get their sugar fix.
You can use candy as an overall theme, as creative, decorative and edible centerpieces and as a giveaway or exit treat. You can have an elaborate candy bar, use it in your candlelighting ceremony, as place cards or napkin rings (think candy necklaces). You can even hire a vendor like Spin-Spun to make unique flavored gourmet cotton candy (watermelon, blue raspberry, salted caramel, etc.) on the spot, creating both entertainment and an oh-so-yummy indulgence at the same time.
Courtesy of Spin-Spun
CANDY FOR DECORATION
Candy is colorful, pretty, and fun, and you can use plenty without breaking the bank. Even when using real flowers in centerpieces, it can be a good idea to incorporate some less expensive decor instead of trying to fill your space with blooms
alone. Candy can do the trick without looking cheap. You can fill clear vases of differing sizes with colorful jellybeans or M&Ms on tables and then add coordinating flowers and balloons. Or fill almost anything including sand buckets, sneakers or gumball machines with your favorite sweets on each table. It’s not only colorful, but fun as your guests can help themselves to some extra treats during the party. You can go over the top when decorating with candy. Glue your child’s favorite bars onto oversized wooden letters for their initials or make marshmallow or lollypop trees in flowerpots with toothpicks and Styrofoam balls. Pinterest has tons of ideas and you can even find tutorials online with simple DIY instructions to help you create the more complicated ideas. Kendall Gnat had a candy theme using a lime green, purple, hot pink and blue color scheme. For the kids, bags decorated with a gumball pattern were used as place cards and were later used to carry home prizes given out during the celebration. The adults got silicone bracelets that looked like candy dots as place cards complete with gumball name tags. Candy was everywhere. Ceramic letter bowls spelled out “Kendall” and were filled with colorful candy Sixlets around the cake. Clear candle holders filled with candy acted as holders for the candle lighting and huge inflatable lollypops were also decorative props.
Courtesy Zeligson Photography
CANDY PARTY FAVORS
Think of candy as great party favors that can decorate your venue and then can be taken home by your guests to indulge at party’s end. The sweets from Treat House are one such example. Inspired by a charitable school bake sale, New York’s premiere gourmet crisped rice emporium provides a wide range of classic and innovative flavors, including birthday cake, caramel sea salt, chocolate peanut butter and mint chocolate chip. These even come topped with extras like chocolate covered pretzels, pieces of bubblegum, glazed fruit and more. They can be individually wrapped in the shop’s signature containers with your own logo attached. Other offerings perfect for inclusion in any party include Treat Pops, Breakfast Bars, ice cream bars and homemade flavored marshmallows. You’ll also be treating others while indulging in their goodies: ten cents of every treat purchased is donated to the Food Bank for New York City.
Custom crisped rice from Treat House make your party truly sweet
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER CANDY
For Kendall’s Mitzvah Project, the family made centerpieces for their Kiddush luncheon. They were candy themed and included a Candyland board game, candy paper pads, pencils, cards and of course lots and lots of candy, including M&Ms and giant gumballs. Kendall then donated them to Jewish Family and Child for children living in shelters, and broken homes.
Another great idea is to include your leftover party candy in care packages that are sent to soldiers serving their country far from home. Operation Gratitude and Operation Shoebox are two organizations that ship packages to the troops. Make sure it’s heat-resistant candy only; chocolate melts, you know! And don’t forget to include a handwritten letter of support to really put a smile on a soldier’s face while indulging their sweet tooth.
The candy buffet is everyone’s all-time favorite party trend. In fact it has become a staple at most Bar and Bat Mitzvahs these days. The Candy Isle is a distinctive concept that literally brings the candy store to you. This first of its kind “store” can serve as your Bar/Bat Mitzvah candy buffet with 18-36 bins of your favorite candy set up in many configurations, including a multi-sided kiosk, allowing accessibility to many guests at one time. Guests scoop their chosen candy into a container that is personalized for your celebration and becomes their take home favor.
Courtesy of The Candy Isle
DIY CANDY BUFFET
If you’re trying to tighten the budget, you can always go the DIY candy buffet route and still have an impressive array of deliciousness.
Here are six steps to guide you through the process:
1: Decide on a theme and colors to give your table a cohesive look.
2: Choose the types of candy you want. To make it simple, think about how much you want from each of these four categories:
• Bulk loose candy: sold by the pound
• Individually packaged candy: offer one per guest
• Designer candy/sweets: offer one per guest
• Display candy: used for decoration & filler
3: Set up the table with appropriate containers. When doing a color-coordinated candy table, always use clear containers so the color shows through. If you offer bulk loose candy, be sure that you use containers with a large enough opening for a scoop to fit in and short enough so that guests can actually reach to the bottom.
4: Figure out how much of each kind of candy you will need. The general rule of thumb is to order approximately eight ounces of candy per guest.
5: Design your table so it’s a show stopper. When your guests enter your party space, the candy buffet should be a WOW FACTOR! The first things they will notice are the tablecloth, backdrop, centerpiece and the artful display of colorful candies,
so make sure it is fabulous and matches your party’s color or theme.
6: Finishing touches: What is a candy table without a little bling? Glam up the table and embellish the containers with bows and ribbon, confetti, balloons, photos and more. Be creative.
THE PARTY’S OVER
After a night of candy, candy and more candy, consider what Kendall Gnat did…. she gave out custom toothbrushes to all her guests.
Treat House: www.treathouse.com, 212-799-7779
The Candy Isle: www.thecandyisle.com, 203-506-5319
Operation Gratitude: www.operationgratitude.com
Spin-Spun: www.spin-spun.com, 312-880-7786
Operation Shoebox: www.operationshoebox.com
Covered In Candy: 646-234-9635
This story is from new 2014 Mitzvah Market Magazine. If you would like to request a free copy, click here.