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Meet Samantha McDougall and Austin Pearlman of AusSam Candy in Granada Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha McDougall and Austin Pearlman.

Samantha and Austin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My partner, Austin Pearlman, and I own AusSam Candy. We are two local families that have known each other for 30 years. We wanted to open a neighborhood business that was inclusive of everyone. We chose candy because it makes everyone happy! We reach every demographic and age. Our customers can be 3 or 93 and AusSam Candy evokes the same response…. happy customers. We have nostalgic candies that make everyone feel like a kid in a candy store… literally! Our store sparks adventure when you take a world tour through our international candies. We have candy from across the globe; Mexico, Japan, Australia and many European countries. We try to stay current with new candies and even have a Wish List on the side of our soda cabinet. Speaking of soda…. we have several old fashioned and new fancy sodas like Ramune. On a hot day, many customers enjoy Nitropod ice cream made especially for AusSam Candy. Coming into the store is really key in experiencing what AusSam Candy is really about.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In 2018 when we decided to start our business, we had the name, concept, the products we wanted to sell and the location, but we did not have a brand. We really wanted the store to be a complete thought. Nothing left dangling or unknown. We wanted to keep everything as local as possible. We reached out to IntersectLA (formerly Viscom) at California State University, Northridge. They are a graphic Design/Marketing agency within the university. There we worked with two professors and a team of students to create our brand identity. This is where we got our AusSam logo and tag line Live Life to the Sweetest. They also helped create the artwork for our wallpaper, windows, selfie wall, freezers, bags, stickers and swag. Our partnership with CSUN is very special to us.

Once we finished building out our store and got the go ahead from the Health Department, we had our Grand Opening March 30, 2019. The largest in the history of Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce with over 250 in attendance.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about AusSam Candy – what should we know?
We have only been open a little over a year and we have a very loyal customer base and they keep telling their friends and spreading the word. We have new customers every day which is encouraging. We specialize in candy. We also carry Nirtopod ice cream, Manzanita’s candy apples and a variety of soda. Everything in our store is pre-packaged and our bulk candy is not sold by the pound, but by the bag size. We have $8 and $6 bags. Fill it up!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Well, definitely our partnership with CSUN, but most importantly our families and community. Our families have helped us launch this business from a thought to a full-fledged business and continue to support us daily in our endeavor. We would not be here today without our loyal customer base supporting us especially during these challenging times of COVID-19. We truly feel valued by our community.


  • Bulk candy bags $8 and $6
  • Individual candy items/candy gifts from $0.10 to $42

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Grand Opening – Mark Hovater

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