When an awning sign was removed at 86-1/2 Nassau Street between Fulton and John Streets, a neon sign for Loft’s Candies was revealed.
The first Loft’s candy store was opened by British immigrant William Loft in 1860, with his son George Loft gradually opening more branches in NYC in the 1890s. Production was centered in Long Island City, expanding to ten office buildings and factories at Vernon Boulevard and 40th Avenue. Loft’s acquired Pepsi in 1931 — you read that right, they acquired Pepsi, forming PepsiCo.
Most businesses have a shelf life, as it were, and Loft’s was fading by the 1980s, with only 40 locations, and all had closed by the mid-1990s, including the one I remember, at the busy corner of 5th Avenue and 86th Street in Bay Ridge.
Photos: Vincent Losinno