Two confectioners are advertised on this old second-floor signage. One you'll probably recognize immediately: Russell Stover, founded in 1921, still makes candy under its own name and also produces Whitman's samplers as well as the Texas-born Pangburn's Millionaires. The company's namesake was a pioneer of frozen confections, too; in the early 1920s he rebranded a chocolate-covered ice cream treat as the Eskimo Pie.
Loft's, despite a candy-making history that began in Civil War-era New York, is less well-known today. At the company's centennial, its Long Island City factory supplied several hundred Loft's stores in the five boroughs, New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and beyond. Candy lovers still salivate at the thought of Loft's butter crunch and its Parlays, advertised in 1961 as "heavenly honey nougat dipped with creamy caramel, rolled in crisp chopped pecans, covered with Loft's rich milk chocolate."
For reasons much more difficult to research online, Loft's fortunes fell over the next three decades. The candy maker ceased operations in 1990, several years after this convenience store's current, Guyanese proprietor went into business.
Russell Stover and Loft's
Surviving signage at the Gemini Card Store (also known as Subha Cards)
217-03 Jamaica Ave. (217th-218th Sts.), Queens Village, Queens