Sinfully Sweet

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Candy bar buffets are growing in popularity

(Photo by Nicole Whelan)

Over the last few years, it seems it’s not enough to have a party and hand out a favor, sending guests on their way. Kids and adults alike expect something more. Whether it’s a food truck at the end of a wedding, a dessert table at a sweet sixteen or candy bar buffet at a bar or bat mitzvah, celebratory events are all about the wow factor, something Karin Hlywiak understands. Hlywiak is the owner of Sinfully Sweet, a candy and dessert buffet service that pulls out all the customized stops for your big day.

“Everything is custom and you can hire me to do your wedding, baby shower, sweet sixteen, corporate function, it’s based upon what you want,” said Hlywiak, who doesn’t charge per person, but has a minimum of $750 to go out for an event which normally includes a minimum of 50 people. “I always ask the customer what they want to spend and they really don’t know, which is understandable, so I’ll throw out a number and we’ll go from there.”

Sinfully Sweet’s main draw is the dozens of types of candy that people go crazy over, however, Hlywiak can also include S’mores pops, push pops, cake pops, brownies and cupcakes, all baked in house at her husband’s bakery, JJ’s Rockin’ Cupcakes and Cakes in Massapequa.

“Candy bar buffets used to be just sweet sixteens and bar and bat mitzvahs because sometimes they spend more than a wedding, but edible favors are huge and they’ve been huge over the last five years. They’re popping up more and more,” she said. “Sometimes people have pictures and ask if I can do it or they have an idea and we’ll go from there. Other times, customers don’t know what they want, they just know they want a wow factor.”

Sinfully Sweet’s candy bar buffets are packed with candy, and Hlywiak always adds special touches like lights and illuminating rock candy sticks. She also offers different upgrades and various forms of signage in her packages.

“You can pick whatever you want and I have a graphic designer, Victoria Jean, who creates all of the signage, whether it’s rustic or modern or glitzy or glamourous. It really makes everything pop,” she said of the candy bar packages, which feature the Sweet Package, which includes dessert and candy labels; Make It Pop, which has more to choose from and the VIP Production, which has everything from the poster sign to signs for the takeout containers.

Hlywiak does more than just plan and set up the event. She arrives early in the morning to set up, which can take upwards of six hours depending on the size of the candy bar, stays for the whole event and then cleans up after.

“I don’t advertise, it’s only through word of mouth. I am more expensive than other candy bar buffets, but when you book me you gets the works,” she said, adding that four to six months before an event is a good window of time to book.

Hlywiak works with several Long Island and New York distributors that can get the most nostalgic and old school candy to today’s sugary favorites. As a precaution, she stays away from anything peanut butter to avoid allergies.

“Our colored candy buffets are very popular, especially around communion season, where everything is pink or blue. Visually, the colored buffets are just really cool,” she said, adding that the most popular candy is rock candy because it’s nostalgic and not something you see every day. “For presentation purposes it looks beautiful. We also do a lot of sour candies, sour belts and one of the most popular things we do are candy kabobs.”

One of Hlywiak’s creative add-ons is cotton candy on glow sticks, however, she will only offer it to a party that has a minimum of 50 to 75 people due to price. As for props, they are provided by the company, but if a customer wants a specific creation they must pay. Customers can also purchase props as a souvenir as well.

“The customer can take over any leftover candy that’s there. I refill and don’t limit the amount of times kids and people can come up,” said Hlywiak, who always brings extra candy. “We make extra boxes for the guest of honor and if we see a lot of candy didn’t go, we’ll make boxes for guests to take home.”

The candy buffet comes out an hour prior to the end of the event as it serves as the wow factor, the surprise ending or a sweet favor. Sinfully Sweet makes a big production out of the reveal, complete with a DJ announcement and photoshoot with the family.

“I’m very passionate about what I do and with me, you get a built in event planner and all the knowledge you could possibly ask for,” said Hlywiak.

Sinfully Sweet is the perfect ending to a sweet night. Hlywiak is located in Massapequa but works all over the tri-state area. For more information, call 914-826-7346 or visit
www.sinfullysweetcandybuffet.com.

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