A little-known fact about me is that I am a candy expert. Weird, huh? The reason for my extensive candy knowledge is that I worked at a candy store all through my college years. I was known as a “candy girl” and I loved it. What I loved most about working in a candy shop is that everyone who walked in was happy as can be. Candy reminds you of childhood fun and that is really what it’s all about. Personally, even as a health oriented person, I believe that we all have to indulge from time to time. That being said, there are a lot of ingredients in candy that are not so vegetarian friendly. I figured I would use my candy knowledge to demystify veg & vegan candies truths while highlighting my absolute favourite candy shop in Montreal: Carré Confiseries.
Carré Confiseries is a delightful candy store located at on Bleury next to Place des Arts metro & Quartier des Spectacle. They specialize in everything candy related and chances are if you are looking for a treat that you used to eat at 5 years old, you’ll find it there. The staff is friendly, helpful and they really know candy. They can tell you if your candy is kosher, veg-friendly or peanut-free so it’s a great place to go for people who have special dietary needs. They even have sugar-free candies!
My favourite part about Carre Confiseriesis that it is owned by Melissa, a young entrepreneur who set up shop about two years ago. This is not a massive candy chain but a local business in the heart of Montreal. I interviewed Melissa about her store and this is what she had to say.
Tell me about Carre Confiseries, what is your mission?
“Carre Confiseries is a full service candy store which specializes bulk candy, imports and gifts as well as delivery. Our mission is to give people a happy pause in their otherwise busy lives.”
What type of products do you carry?
“We have a large variety of bulk candy and chocolates, as well as childhood favourites and imports.”
What are you best sellers?
“Bulk gummy candies are our best sellers.”
What is your favourite part of owning a candy shop?
“Getting to serve happy customers. It’s all about sharing in a happy moment.”
Do you offer a lot of a vegetarian and vegan friendly products?
“Yes, we have many candies and chocolates that are vegetarian and vegan friendly and they are clearly marked in the store.”
What makes a candy vegan?
“A candy is vegan if it’s make without the use of any animal products or bi-products.”
Do you have a lot of people who ask for vegan candies?
“A fair amount, but more vegetarian than vegan.”
Is it important to offer vegan alternatives? If so, why?
“Yes, I believe so. Everyone should be able to come into a candy store and find their favourites, or make new favourites.”
If someone walks into your store tomorrow, what is the first thing they should do?
“Smile and get ready for a happy time!”
Non-Veg Candy Ingredients:
So what makes a candy not vegetarian?
Wiki definition: Gelatin or gelatine is a translucent, colourless, brittle, flavourless foodstuff, derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products.
You’ll find gelatin in gummy candies, jello and even certain mousse cakes.
Although very rarely found in North American candy brands, cochineal, carmine, or carminic acid is a red dye derived from crushed beetles. Red #40 dye on the other hand is totally vegan!
Non-Vegan Candy Ingredients:
Dairy is a pretty straight forward ingredient that is found in most chocolates. Not a problem if you are a vegetarian but if you are on a strict vegan diet, you’ll likely want to stick to dark or specialty chocolates.
So that is about the gist of it, if you want to buy vegan candies for a vegan friend or simply prefer to eat treats with no animal by-products, check out Carre Confiseries. You can also check out the great list that Peta published on vegan candy selections.
Finally, if you are looking for a great local treat that is veggie-friendly and delicious, go for maple candies! Another perk about Carre Confiseries is they carry a variety of maple candies and maple syrups. These make excellent gifts when you travel or when you are receiving visitors but around the world. Maple is our point of pride – we do produce more of it in quebec than anywhere in the world.
Happy candy shopping!
1502 Rue de Bleury, Montréal, QC H3A 2J2