Toy Joy’s new candy store; Antonelli’s co-owner takes on a new role


Toy Joy opening a candy, ice cream shop downtown

If you’re a kid, the only thing better than walking into a toy store is walking into a candy store. Toy Joy is getting ready to serve you up with both.

The longtime toy store, which moved from its University of Texas-area home to a space on Second Street several years ago, announced last week that it is opening a candy shop next door called Yummi Joy, 409 W. Second St., in the space that formerly housed Cafe Ruckus. Later this month, you’ll find a rainbow of nostalgic candies, bulk sweets, gummies, lollipops and chocolates, as well as ice cream from Sweet Ritual, whose co-founder Amelia Raley first worked at Toy Joy when it was up at Guadalupe and 29th Street. Yummi Joy also will have classic sodas, coffee and hot chocolate. The ice cream will be for sale via a walk-up window on West Second Street, and the window will be open later than the candy shop to accommodate late-night restaurant patrons and concert-goers leaving ACL, according to a news release.

“Candy has been a very popular item at Toy Joy, and our creative staff has loads of fun ideas for tasty new treats to bring to our customers, including artisan fudge products,” said co-founder and CEO Fred Schmidt, who also owns Wild About Music. Toy Joy manager and partner Robby Pettinato added: “Three years ago this toy business found itself in foreclosure under prior ownership but is now doing better than ever as longtime regulars have found us again and, at the same time, we are now discoverable by all the throngs of tourists, conventioneers and residents in this new downtown location.”


‘The Austin Cookbook’ coming in March 2018

It’s about time for another Austin-centric cookbook. The Live Music Capital of the World has had plenty of cookbooks over the years, including a community cookbook from “Austin City Limits” and a republishing of Austin’s first cookbook, but it’s been a few years since we’ve had a book to reflect the history and current state of our food scene.

There’s no better writer than Paula Forbes to change that. The Austin-based writer was the founding editor of Eater Austin, and since leaving that job years ago, she’s written for Lucky Peach, GQ and now Food52.

Forbes specializes in cookbook reviews, so it will be fun to check out her own cookbook, “The Austin Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from Deep in the Heart of Texas,” which is slated to come out in March 2018 with photos from Dallas photographer Robert Strickland. Last week, Forbes tweeted out the presale link for the book, which means we get to see the cover and official description.

I’m excited to see how Forbes approaches Austin’s food scene with one foot in the past and another firmly in the present. Few people understand Austin’s restaurant landscape as well as Forbes, and none of them has studied what makes a solid cookbook as long as she has, so this book should be a good one.


Texas cheesemakers win industry awards as Antonelli takes the reins

John Antonelli has been a member of the American Cheese Society since before he and his wife, Kendall, even officially got into the cheese business.

Since 2010, the Antonellis have run Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Hyde Park, Austin’s only standalone cheese shop, and the couple’s role in the community has evolved to now include an array of classes, farm tours and events. As local cheese educators, retailers and wholesalers, they connect cheesemakers from around the world with every kind of customer imaginable, including chefs. (The other local cheese shop, Henri’s, which was located on South Lamar, closed after a fire last year, and the owners announced recently that they are morphing the concept into a restaurant and bar in Northeast Austin.) This fall, Antonelli’s will open a second location in the still-under-construction Fareground, Austin’s first food hall.

But last month, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop took another step forward into the international spotlight when John, a longtime board member of the cheese society, took the helm as president of one of the world’s leading cheese organizations. Both Antonellis have been involved with the organization’s annual cheese competition, which also took place at the conference, and three Texas companies came home with awards. Brazos Valley Cheese in Waco took third place for its cow milk feta. A specialty cheese called Menonita con Pimienton from Paula Lambert’s Mozzarella Company in Dallas won third place, and Pure Luck Farm and Dairy in Dripping Springs, run by Amelia Sweethardt, took third place for its goat milk feta.

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