When Gigi Alibhai was a child growing up in Cuba, life wasn't too sweet. Her mother, who was a political prisoner for a time, worked at a candy factory to make ends meet for her family. Alibhai says her family was so poor she didn't have shoes, let alone toys.
|Smooshies: Community and candy for kids.|
"My mother would stay late at the candy factory and sculpt toys for me from the leftover candy," Alibhai said. "It takes so much heat and work to sculpt that hard candy with bare hands that her fingertips were literally burnt off. l wanted to eat them, but I couldn't. They were my only toys."
Alibhai, now a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and mother of three, decided to open a shop that would combine toys and candy with a place kids could go to and socialize, taking her story full circle. Smooshies (coined from the name Alibhai's daughter calls her brothers), soft opens in Key Biscayne late August, with an official grand opening on Halloween (the official/unofficial day of candy).
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