Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop, specializing in regional and retro candy and soda, opened its doors in February to all sugar-craving community members on the northwestern corner of Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads in Scottsdale. “Candy, soda and gag gifts are all about fun,” says Sue Engdahl, co-owner of Rocket Fizz with partner, Michael Paul.
Rocket Fizz Scottsdale, a local franchise, stands out from other shops in that 40 percent of its inventory is kosher. “We really want to take care of the community with kosher needs,” says Engdahl.
A native of upstate New York, Engdahl grew up with many Jewish friends, in addition to those she met in college and in Phoenix, so she knows the value of catering to the kosher population. “We are working now on having one big kosher section for whoever has that dietary need — just like we specialize in vegan, gluten-free, nut-free," she says.
Additionally, Engdahl is creating guides with kosher symbols and rules and proof for individually wrapped candy. “All of our taffy is kosher, but we are going to develop proof so you can see the signs,” says Engdahl. As of now, a flier, available upon request, lists all the kosher candy in the store.
Rocket Fizz’s most popular kosher items include Virgil’s Cream Soda, taffy, Jelly Bellies and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. “The Peanut Chews … they go like hot cakes,” says Engdahl. Boylan’s soda in all flavors — such as cream, fruit, root beer and cola — is also a popular choice among kosher customers.
Jewish holiday-specific candy is also available throughout the year. “I just got some Hanukkah candy canes, a really cute little play dreidel, and we are going to get some more stuff in, too – some Judaica,” says Engdahl. After Hanukkah, Rocket Fizz will sell Purim bags and a small selection of kosher-for-Passover candy.
In addition to the shop, Rocket Fizz provides candy buffets for bat and bar mitzvah parties. “We can do anything from Jelly Bellies, M&M’s, taffy … and even gummies that are kosher,” says Engdahl.
Depending on customer requests, Rocket Fizz can provide wrapped and unwrapped candy, specific brands or types of candy, candy based on a child’s favorite colors, and even private-labeled soda. “Whatever the customer wants, we will go to far lengths to get what they need,” says Engdahl.
Over the next year, Engdahl and Paul are opening a second Rocket Fizz shop in Gilbert's Old Town and will go on the road with a mobile store.
With the expansion of Rocket Fizz, Engdahl and Paul plan to continue spreading joy to the community — their ultimate goal. “The reason we got involved in this is we like to give joy back to people. We enjoy giving back,” says Engdahl.
On Aug. 1 and 2, Rocket Fizz will host “Free Sweets for Being Sweet,” a back-to-school supply drive. All school supplies will be donated to the Pappas Kids Schoolhouse Foundation, a foundation that helps homeless, underprivileged and at-risk students statewide. Free candy and soda samples will be provided for all customers who donate supplies.