Amy's Candy Bar to set up shop in Ravenswood

"I would consider it to be more of an upscale candy store," says Amy Hansen of her forthcoming Ravenswood shop, Amy's Candy Bar. "It's not going to be the kind of candy store where you walk in and there'll be plastic bins where you reach in and get your candy. It's going to be more European style...there's going to be glass jars, and most of the candy will be pre-packaged. So it's going to have a little bit of a more boutiquey feel to it."

The store has been years in the making for Hansen, who five years ago left the corporate world to attend the French Pastry School. After graduating she (reluctantly) returned to the corporate world. But when she was recently laid off, she started thinking about sweets again. "I know people in this neighborhood really miss ice cream," she says, referring to a candy store/ice cream shop in the 'hood that shuttered not too long ago.

So Hansen is planning to bring ice cream—and candy, and pastries—back to the people. The highlight of her store will probably be her housemade candies: She makes four types of caramels (sea salt, chocolate, raspberry, passionfruit-mango) as well as a chocolate-dipped almond-pistachio nougat. She'll also make cupcakes, cookies, Rice Krispie treats and other baked goods ("I'll just kind of see what people want and ask for, and kind of shape the store around that," she says), and she'll carry the work of many other Chicago candy companies (such as Mayana Chocolates). And of course, there'll be the ice cream Ravenswood is jonesing for.

Hansen's goal is to open Amy's Candy Bar by the end of May. In the meantime, you can try her caramels at her future next-door neighbor, Orange Beautiful.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)