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With an upended fist “To the Moon Alice, to the Moon” was the classic line that Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason, a Soflo icon) bellowed at his wife Alice Kramden (Audrey Meadows) on the Honeymooners TV show of the 1950s.
The Honeymooners TV show ran from 1955 to 1970 and epitomized post WW2 era of gritty blue collar working class married couples. But what does the Honeymooners have to do with our article today? Well, To The Moon in Wilton Manors brings us back to those times with their nostalgia filled store.
To the Moon, the variety and specialty store on Wilton Drive that opened in February 2005 and which is named after Kramden’s famous line, is packed with the feel good nostalgia and sensibility that old fashioned candy and novelties evoke.
Owner Antonio Dumas named his store after the classic TV show because his own father and mother were named Ralph and Alice, like the show’s main characters. Dumas also hails from Brooklyn where the show was based, and his brother in law drives the actual Jackie Gleason tour bus in Brooklyn.
The 1,200 square foot store on Wilton Drive houses candy from 95 countries, 20,000 different kitschy items including 1,000 ornaments from all over ranging in price from $5.99-29.99, 80 sugar free items, 2,000 greeting cards, 100 varieties of black licorice, 40 classic soda varieties, European items, 20 vegan items and more.
Dumas regularly attends candy shows worldwide to find the creative cards, ornaments, socks, coasters, nostalgic toys and more that he displays at To the Moon. It’s a paradise of raunchy cards, racy cocktail napkins, witty knee high socks, gay pride items, humorous coasters and seasonal candy and novelty items for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and more. The store is the perfect place to stop for locals, tourists and out of town visitors to sunny South Florida.
Dumas previously owned a gourmet food store on 9th and Ocean in South Beach Florida from 1995 to 2005 before he moved to Broward. The 3,000 square foot in the international mecca of South Beach store catered more to tourists with a busy deli, gifts and some novelty items. The shift to East Fort Lauderdale on Wilton Drive warranted more candy, kitsch and novelty items.
Dumas possesses a heartwarming sense of philanthropy as evidenced by the 700 gift bags he donated (and hand delivered) to area hospital front line workers last year from Hollywood – Boca during the pandemic.
Dumas strictly enforces mask wearing, sanitizes and religiously cleans the store, utilizes plexiglass at the register and restricts patrons to 10 at a time in the store.
Ironically in times of war and despair, alcohol, tobacco and candy sales soar as people seek the feel good endorphin release that a good candy can bring!
Antonio foresees retirement within the next 15 years perhaps half time in New England and half time in Mexico.
Meanwhile To the Moon continually entertains and delights customers with its floor to ceiling bevy of nostalgic candy and novelties.
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