The 90-Year-Old Owner of Ray's Candy Store Was Brutally Attacked Outside His Shop

Ray Alvarez was attacked in front of his iconic NYC candy store around 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

learn more about Madeline Garfinkle

By Madeline Garfinkle

Gotham | Getty Images

Ray Alvarez, 90, the owner of Ray's Candy Store in New York's East Village, was brutally assaulted outside his shop on Tuesday around 3 a.m. and left with a black eye and cuts after the attack.

Still, Alvarez reported to work the next morning, as he has for nearly half a century, despite the cruel act of violence.

"I had an ice cream delivery," he told the New York Post. "I'm here 49 years. I had one day off."

Ray's Candy Store has been around since 1974 and has since become a New York City landmark — partly due to the loyal fan base committed to supporting the kind-hearted owner. The 24-hour shop is famous for its fries, shakes, soft serve, and fried Oreos — among other classic treats.

Related: New Yorkers Are Helping Keep This Nostalgic Candy Store and its 90-Year-Old Owner in Business

"New York Nico," an influencer and New York City documentarian (with over a million followers on Instagram) shared news of the attack on Thursday, informing followers that Ray is "feeling much better and "still making his famous fried Oreos."

Comments quickly rolled in with individuals sharing love and support. "Unbelievably awful," one commenter wrote. "So glad he's ok. Also glad nothing can stop him from doing his thing."

"Protect Ray at all costs," another commented.

According to police reports obtained by multiple outlets, the perpetrator approached Alvarez asking if he wanted to buy a package he was carrying.

When Alvarez asked what was in the box, the assailant handed it to another man and then threatened to kill him, he told the New York Post.

"I went down, bleeding," he told the outlet. "I thought I'm never going to make it. He hit me in a very bad spot. I just want to lay down."

Alvarez went on to explain that the neighborhood has become increasingly unsafe, and with few cops patrolling the area, his shop is often targeted by thieves.

"From him to be outside at 3 a.m. and get socked in his eye is just disturbing and disgusting," a neighborhood resident told Fox News.

The main perpetrator has yet to be caught, but police released surveillance footage of a man dressed in all black and pushing a purple cart filled to the brim with miscellaneous items.

Related: Amid Surging Crime Rates, Make Sure Your Business Is Protected

Madeline Garfinkle

Entrepreneur Staff

Editorial Assistant

Madeline Garfinkle is an Editorial Assistant at She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Starting a Business

90% of Online Businesses Fail in Just 4 Months. You Can Avoid the Same Fate By Using These Strategies.

It's not catastrophizing when we think about potential failure; it's in fact a chance for any business to precisely see any outcome and prepare in advance.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas To Start Right Now

To start one of these home-based businesses, you don't need a lot of funding -- just energy, passion and the drive to succeed.


How to Bring Your Franchise to the Next Level With Marketing Automation

With the impacts of inflation and associated costs of running a business, automation is a powerful solution for streamlining a positive guest experience and overall marketing.

Growing a Business

How to Outpace Your Competitors During a Recession

Here's how you can use economic uncertainty as an opportunity to grow your business and stand out among your competitors.