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Popalops Shop at Crabtree Mall, Raleigh, NC

In 1996 Derek Lawson befriended the owners of a candy shop in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and helped them to establish a chain of candy stores throughout the state.  It was a fortuitous meeting, and it would ultimately play out to be one of the “biggest” success stories in the candy industry.

Despite the efforts of Derek (and his older brother Brett Lawson who was also enlisted) the candy business owned by Michele Horwitz and son Michael Horwitz seemed destined to struggle.  This was due largely to the unforeseen - yet oncoming – low carbohydrate craze of the late ‘90’s and the subsequent overall decline in candy sales.  All but two of the candy stores would be closed by the end of the decade.  

Years later – after exploring other opportunities - the friends reunited again.  This time with a renewed interest in the candy business and somewhat revised business plan.  The brothers formed BROSCO, LLC (an acronym for Brother’s Company) and assumed operations of one of the remaining stores located in Wilmington, NC.  They developed a product line that emphasized nostalgic - often obscure- candies of the past.    Though not yet booming, the business did begin a slow upwards trend!

Then in 2003 Derek Lawson had an idea.  While continuing to carve out a niche’ in the multi-billion dollar candy industry, he decided create his own candy - one that would be unique and only he would manufacture and sell.  In a time where the prevailing attitude was that of big-box stores carrying cheaply made imported goods and discounted merchandise, he would move to create a specialty item that emphasized grandeur and audacity - yet with eye-appeal and irresistible charm!  He would create the WORLD’S LARGEST GUMMY BEARS! ™ 

Truth is the advent of the candy was part of a joke he played on his older brother, and born out of frustration over many other failed candy-product ideas!  Nonetheless, the idea was born, and the impact was immediate!

Notoriety ensued!  Friends and customers were awestruck and began to demand more of the gargantuan gummies. Their store was prominently placed in the local tourism guide’s list of “Things to Do and See”.  The brothers were asked to become part of a popular call-in radio show and the Giant Gummy Bears ™ achieved a local celebrity of sorts.  

Nationally the five pound colossal candy bear began to receive mention on even bigger news and entertainment shows, not the least of which was the show COUNTDOWN, on MSNBC.  This resulted in the first of what would eventually be many more assaults on their website, challenging their ability to meet with increasingly overwhelming demand. 

Today the story has come full circle.  These long-time friends and now seasoned confectionary veterans have collaborated again to form giantgummybears.com with candy creator Derek Lawson as CEO, and University of Georgia graduate and MBA Michael Horwitz as President presiding over their new manufacturing facility in Raleigh, NC.  They’ve perfected their flagship item – The WORLD’S LARGEST GUMMY BEARS! ™ - and have expanded the product line to also include Giant Gummy Bears on a Stick™, the World Largest Gummy Worms ™, Gummy Shot Glasses ™ (even gummy frogs, snails, brains, hearts, tongues, etc…), as well has holding many patents and trademarks in other endeavors.

 As the official home of the WORLD’S LARGEST GUMMY BEARS! ™ POPALOPS Candy Shop in Crabtree Valley Mall - Raleigh, North Carolina now serves as the testing facility for many of their new creations.   It is the last remaining store in the chain that was created years ago and that brought them together.  But given the appetite and demand that the entire world has shown for ALL of the unique and exciting gummies they’ve created, Derek & Michael have their sights set on even BIGGER plans for an already gigantic success story! 


POPALOPS Raleigh - Crabtree Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27612


Online Orders & Questions please call: 919.665.6361

Store Directions & Hours please call: 919.787.3186



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