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Sweet Nostalgia: Getting to Know Robin Helfand, Owner of Robin’s Candy

Zarina Levitsky

Let me ask you: What is your favorite childhood memory?

While you think about this question, I’m going to reminisce about my own childhood… just for a little. Red brick building with no elevator, a carpet hanging on the wall and untouched Czchek Silver plates laying in a glass cabinet. Racing up to the 5th floor for a quick water break after an intense game of tag, seeing all the adults drinking tea around a square kitchen table and spotting a vase full of my favorite chocolate “Alenka.” Taking a seat on my grandma’s lap, and one by one finishing the whole stash of those chocolates. Those summer nights are my most precious memories. Even though my story is from the year 2007 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, I can be certain almost every individual around the world has a good childhood memory connected to their favorite candy.

Robin Helfand, the owner of Robin’s Candy, wants to create these sweet memories for kids and evoke nostalgia in adults. And when you visit Robin’s Candy on Main Street in Great Barrington, a store brimming with every imaginable candy, try answering my question again.

Aside from being the owner of Robin’s Candy and an advisor to Berkshire Busk, Robin Helfand is heavily involved in the community of Great Barrington. Helfand has been part of the Town Manager Selection Committee, the Main Street Reconstruction Committee, and the Parking Review Committee. As well as a Board Member of the Community Development Corporation of the Southern Berkshires (CDCSB), the Great Barrington Cultural District Steering Committee, an active member of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, and the MA Association of Retailers.

Robin Helfand got involved in Berkshire Busk through her position at the Great Barrington Cultural District Steering Committee and their support of local art initiatives. Helfand helped by introducing the program to Community Sponsors and consulting on marketing.

Some of Helfand’s thoughts about Berkshire Busk:

“Advising Gene as he creates what is sure to be a successful Festival has been inspiring and will undoubtedly add to the vibrant streetscape we are developing in Great Barrington. Personally and professionally, I believe it is important to champion our artistic community through and beyond the challenges of the pandemic. Our wonderful artistic community will gain exposure and financial support, every merchant will benefit from the increased presence of local residents and visitors in the downtown district, and the Festival will enrich the "ecology" of our local economy. Of course everyone within earshot and eyesight will benefit from the sounds and sights of the Berkshire Busk!”

I couldn’t agree more!

Since Robin Helfand is such a local icon I HAD to ask her for some advice about how to get the most out of a visit.

“Every time I wander the streets of Great Barrington I discover a new or hidden gem of a shop, or building facade, or carefully tended tiny garden, or shop behind, above or below street level. My recommendation is to come to Great Barrington with enough time to wander, explore and experience our small town welcome, our natural resources and our friendly community! Do a little research ahead of time or when you arrive. Visit and for events and inspiration!”

Don’t forget to follow @robinscandy on instagram, check out their website, and VISIT the shop at 288 Main Street to travel back in time to your childhood.


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