The most mysterious storefront on Smith Street is the M. Poggi Wholesale Confectionery at No. 293. You know the shop; the one with gigantic facsimiles of packs of gum in the window. The address sits silent and stoic among the hubbub of Brooklyn "Restaurant Row." It would seem to a going concern, but I'm never seen anybody enter or exit (certainly nobody has ever dusted those king-size candies), and the door is so pasted over with stickers and decals (included one indicating membership in the NRA) that it's impossible to ascertain whether business is being transacted within.
I've never had the courage to knock on the door because something about the store seems to whisper to me "social club." You can't be to careful in Carroll Gardens. And, after all, the outfit is run by someone with a vowel at the end of his last name.
Anyway, I love this store, whatever it is. Reasons? Let me count them. First or all, there are the titantic gum props. Freedent, Orbit, Doublemint. It's like a forgotten Warhol installation.
Then there's the classic gold stenciling in the window, unchanged, I'm sure, since the store opened.
Poggi also handles tobacco, explaining some faded posters in the corner for Benson & Hedges, featuring a man with very '70s hair, a bent cigarette and the slogan "That's the breaks."
New York City has been working with wholly numerical phone numbers for some years now, but, spelled out on a Salem sign, Poggi still goes by TR5-5581. Finally, there's the requisite "Will return at" clock in the window.