Nov 22, 2023 - Food and Drink

Inside East Nashville's new candy shop Lucky Rabbit

Two women standing in front of a wall of candy.

Allison Holley, left, and Camille Alston are the co-founders of Lucky Rabbit candy shop. Photo: Rachel Deeb/Lucky Rabbit

East Nashville entrepreneurs Allison Holley and Camille Alston have seen their combined sugar intake spike considerably in the last month.

Driving the news: For Holley, the cause of the sugar high has been a honeycomb-dipped chocolate candy called Violet Crumble. For Alston, it's a peanut and molasses-covered candy bar called Peanut Chews.

  • Violet Crumbles and Peanut Chews are just two of the many unique offerings at Lucky Rabbit, East Nashville's new 240-square-foot candy shop that Holley and Alston opened on Oct. 21.

Why it matters: Nashville has precious few locally owned candy shops that thrill kids and adults alike.

  • With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday approaching, Lucky Rabbit is offering special deals alongside sugary stocking stuffers.

What she's saying: Lucky Rabbit is selling nostalgia as much as its delectable selection of candy. The colorful shop features a disco ball hanging prominently from the ceiling and offers reliable candy staples and niche offerings you're unlikely to find elsewhere.

  • "We wanted it to be a place you walked in and were instantly triggered with memories," Alston tells Axios. "Kids walk in with their parents, and the parents go, 'Oh my god, I haven't had this candy since I was 12.'"

Details: Holley and Alston were veterans of independent retail before they opened Lucky Rabbit inside the Shops at Porter East.

  • Holley owns Apple & Oak, the gifts and home decor shop she opened in 2015. Running a candy shop is also in Holley's DNA, since her mom was a candymaker.
  • Alston launched N.B. Goods, an apparel shop with clothes she designed, three years ago.
  • Both are also located in the Shops at Porter East.

Zoom out: The pair acknowledges it's a challenging time to launch a small business. The key to success, they say, is offering something unique and community-focused.

  • "It is much harder now than when I first started eight years ago," Holley says. "Everything is so much more expensive for small businesses. But we were strategic about what we did and made sure we picked something not everyone was doing."

If you go: On Small Business Saturday, Lucky Rabbit and the other Shops at Porter East are participating in a special prize drawing. Every $50 you spend at the shops earns you one entry to win the grand prize of $600 cash.


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