Come for the candy, stay for the show at Sticky
Making confectionery is much more than a business for David King; it’s also an art form, a look into the past, and a source of entertainment.
Each day at The Rocks Centre, it’s common to find crowds of tourists and locals flocking to his open-plan shop, Sticky, to witness a uniquely entertaining show that starts with 15 kilograms of sugar, glucose, water and some flavours and colourings.
“It’s then a sculptural process to turn it into one giant sweet, from which we then extrude 7000 hand-crafted individual little candies,” he says. “Everything we sell, we make right here, right in front of you.”
The former lawyer started Sticky 15 years ago in The Rocks after he fell out of love with the law and “fell in love with candy”.
His stock includes traditional sweets such as humbugs and bullseyes that have been around for 150 years and feature ingredients such as natural aniseed and peppermint oils – “flavours that your grandma would recognise”. More contemporary styles feature uniquely Australian ingredients such as their all-natural Kakadu Plum and Lemon Myrtle, plus candies made in 17 different fruit flavours.
The true specialty of Sticky is the ability to create candies with words or pictures inside, with tourists snapping up sweets depicting koalas or the Sydney Harbour Bridge by the bagful to take home with them as a uniquely Australian gift.
Trading in the Rocks since 2001, King has since franchised the Sticky concept into nine other countries around the world, from Saudi Arabia to Mexico, Dubai and Cambodia. He also retains ownership of a store in the US, located on the world-famous Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
“We train (franchisees) and instil in them our commitment to quality, and making sure that producing the best product of it’s kind in the world remains at the core of our brand,” King says.
Sticky also specialises in weddings, events and corporate promotions, producing bespoke designs and flavours with batch sizes starting at eight kilograms of candy.
“I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but more than anything I enjoy making something beautiful in front of people in a way that’s educational but also entertaining,” King says.
“We have customers who have been coming regularly in since they were kids, whether it’s for a chat, to enjoy the free samples, or just to watch and enjoy the show we put on.”
Shop 10, The Rocks Centre
12-24 Playfair Street
(02) 9252 3337