Mason Sagan

GEN Z: Mason Sagan, 25

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GEN Z: Mason Sagan, 25

Mason Sagan

Hometown: Swampscott

Currently living in: Quincy

Alma mater(s): Preschool at Shirat Hayam in Swampscott; then Swampscott Elementary School and Swampscott Middle School. In high school, I went to St. John’s Prep in Danvers, and then to Babson College in Wellesley.

Job: I own a candy distribution company.

Hobbies: I like to cook and bake, definitely a big foodie. I love trying new restaurants, traveling, hanging out with family, friends.

Favorite Jewish practice: The holidays – all the Jewish holidays we celebrate. We always get together at my Nana’s house or at our house.

Favorite North Shore spot: Lynn Shore Drive, taking walks along the water.

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Do you miss the North Shore?

I do, but luckily, I try and go back every weekend if I can. The only reason I live in Quincy is to be closer to work, which is in Sharon. Other than that, I try on the weekends to go back to my parents’ house in Swampscott because I do prefer the North Shore compared to Quincy.

Tell me about your Jewish background.

I went to Shirat Hayam every Saturday and Tuesday, I was bar mitzvahed there, I went to Jewish overnight camp in Belgrade, Maine, for 4 or 5 years. Growing up, one of the things that I always enjoyed doing was every Saturday, we had a Kiddush luncheon at the temple. And I was always in the kitchen, basically helping from 11:30 until 1 o’clock or whenever it ended. So I was always helping the temple staff with moving tables, setting up chairs, and you know, basically getting the whole luncheon together and ready.

How is your Jewish experience now different from what you grew up with?

My Jewish experience now is definitely more limited.

I still celebrate all the holidays, go to temple for the High Holidays, but I don’t go to temple on a weekly basis anymore. So it’s definitely changed and adapted based on my lifestyle now compared to what it used to be.

Tell me about The Penny Candy Store. How did it start? How does it feel to be a business owner at such a young age?

All my life, I’ve always had some sort of business. Growing up, my brother and I had a baking business, and we sold at the Swampscott farmer’s market for three years. And I had an office products business throughout high school and college. When I graduated from college, I was looking for a business to purchase – I was looking for an office products business to purchase, but there really are not many out there anymore, so I decided to expand my search, and that’s when I came across a candy distribution company. It looked very intriguing, and certainly a very unique opportunity.

Ultimately, three years ago, I purchased this company. Essentially what we do is we repackage nostalgic penny candy, and we sell it to convenience stores and country stores and mom-and-pop stores and the paper store, and we also have a retail store in Sharon.

This is my first legitimate business where I am actually responsible for more than just myself. So that to me is really the most important thing about it, you know, my employees are number one – obviously customers are certainly up there. I love what I do. I think there are actually advantages to being young and being a young business owner. I feel like a lot of people are almost more supportive of you, and they want you to succeed. I think candy is just such a fun industry. Anybody that has ever called or come into my store upset leaves happy, no matter what.

If you could have dinner with any Jewish person alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

My Zayde, who passed away in 2010. I only remember slight memories. I would love to have dinner with him so he could see how far I’ve come and the success that I’ve had and what I’m doing. Θ

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