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YEG Exotic: 600 pop flavours, classic candy, foreign delights at new Edmonton store

He has 7UP Mojito from France; he has Strawberry Kiwi Fanta from Germany; he has Red Bull Extra from Thailand…among hundreds of drink flavours.

Jessie Matthews, the main candy man at YEG Exotic, also has Lil Debbies cereal, Cotton Candy Crunch and Chick-fil-A sauce.

The business started as an online shop, and has now grown into a family-run store in west Edmonton.

"For anyone that likes The Simpsons, we’ve got the Duff drink in here. It’s like an orange sparkling water," Matthews said during a tour Friday morning.

"We kind of expanded and kind of blew up in the pandemic."

Matthews has about 15 different suppliers and is always looking for something fresh.

"I spend like 18 hours a day researching, filling shelves, finding new products, most of my networking is done on the phone," he said.

TikTok videos have helped get the word out about his new location. That’s where Ryan Campbell and his wife found the store.

"It's pretty neat to see. Lots of times when you end up somewhere different, whether it be Mexico or whatever or the states, you always go to their grocery store to see what different stuff they have, so it's neat to see that here now," he said.

Campbell was picking up some Franken Berry cereal.

"The kids will be excited for cereal in the morning. Hopefully they like it and we'll come back"

Importing food is expensive, so YEG Exotic's items aren't cheap.

A box of cereal can be $15, the Ocean Blue Maple Syrup is $18 and there's a Pitch Black Mountain Dew from Thailand for $18. But they also have chocolate bars for $1.50 and Bubblegum pop for $3.

Matthews said customers have been willing to pay more for a unique and fun experience, even if parents are sometimes forced into it.

"Kids are eating the stuff before it’s even out of the plastic and before it’s paid for, so it’s kinda nice. Kinda brings me back to my childhood, you know mom screaming, ‘Don’t touch!’" He recalled with a laugh.

More about YEG Exotic can be found online, and vending machines will soon be across Edmonton. Top Stories

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