IT’SUGAR, one of the largest specialty candy retailers in North America, announced today that IT’SUGAR’s Founder, CEO, and Chief Gummy Bear Jeff Rubin will transition from CEO to chairman, effective July 31. As chairman, Rubin will serve in an advisory capacity to IT’SUGAR and BBX Capital. 

Under Rubin’s leadership, IT’SUGAR has grown to over 100 retail stores in 28 states and two countries, including the recent opening of four candy department stores, with the largest store being approximately 30,000 square feet, and its recent entry into Canada with its West Edmonton store. During his career in the candy industry, Rubin founded or co-founded three successful candy companies including FAO Schweetz, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and IT’SUGAR. 

“I founded IT’SUGAR in 2006, and I am very proud of the company we’ve built, which is now one of the largest specialty candy retailers throughout the United States and Canada,” said Jeff Rubin. “It has been an honor to lead the talented associates at IT’SUGAR. As I’ve watched my third child grow over the past 17 years, it’s time to pass the baton. I am incredibly confident in our leadership team and our IT’SUGAR associates.”   

“Jeff has made an extraordinarily positive and lasting impact on not only IT’SUGAR but also the entire candy industry,” said Jarett Levan. “Jeff has been a great partner and I am very grateful for his leadership over the past seven years. IT’SUGAR is in a strong position for growth and has tremendous opportunities to bring our 'retailtainment' experiential retail environment, to new cities across North America.” 

Jarett Levan, BBX Capital’s president and CEO, will become interim CEO of IT’SUGAR. Stephen Lovell, a retail industry veteran, will become chief operating officer. The company is currently recruiting a chief financial officer. 

Steve Lovell has spent the past 25 years in the retail industry, most recently as president and chief operating officer of Charming Charlie’s. While there, the company grew from just one store to over 400 stores globally and grew revenue to $600 million. Prior to Charming Charlie’s, Steve was the COO at Murray’s Jewelers and Stage Stores. 

“We are excited to bring Steve’s retail and operational expertise to IT’SUGAR. His decades of experience will be a great complement to our seasoned leadership team,” said Jarett Levan.  

IT’SUGAR is a subsidiary of BBX Capital, Inc.  

Related: VIDEO: Talking 'sugartainment' with IT'SUGAR Founder Jeff Rubin