It was pure carny magic. The gleaming sugar crystals would rain into the heart of the silver pan. The bestriped man would taunt us with his white paper sabre, whisking it round and round the edges.
First nothing, then suddenly the pink, purple or blue cloud would start to take shape. Bigger and bigger – let mine be the biggest! – until shaky childhood hands finally got their cotton candy prize. Can’t talk now. Ripping off chunks.
Cloud Nine was an apt name for this cloud of sugar and Cloud Nine is the name that Jason and Sandy Espedido have given their grown up Cotton Candy company.
It was 2013, when the Espedidos launched Cloud Nine Cotton Candy in Vancouver. As a teenager, Sandy used to serve old-school cotton candy at the PNE. Now, Jason and Sandy’s goal was to offer over 25 flavours of cotton candy in “an all-natural, organic form.” If you visit Edible Canada at Granville Island market, you will find their mason jars filled with flavours like Bubblegum, Eggnog, Licorice, London Fog, Chili Pepper and, my favourite so far, Blue Raspberry.
Or you might run into the Cloud Nine folks in their most stylish food truck. “We operate out of a 70’s Boler Trailer painted in classic ’57 Chevy Blue, and pull the trailer with our hot rod 1952 Mercury Panel Truck.”
With their striking ride and their nostalgic treats, Cloud Nine are a popular drive-by. “We definitely receive a lot of attention from all ages,” say the Espedidos. They are continuing to update carny fare with their newest offerings: organic shaved ice and baked mini-donuts.
And what reactions do they see from customers? “Smiles. That’s all that we could really ask for.”
Note the smiles on Sangita and Daryl as they start their engagement celebration in front of the Cotton Candy truck.