Que Edwards dreamed of making candy-coated fruit, known as “crack fruit.” No, really—he had a dream about it last June as he napped on the couch.
Chelsea and daughter Quiniya had forgotten about it by the time Que woke up. But a couple of days later, Que told Chelsea, “I had this crazy dream the other day that I was selling crack fruit.”
“I was like, ‘That’s why you yelled, ‘CRACK!’” Chelsea says with a laugh. “I had thought something completely different.”
Que was familiar with crack fruit from Atlanta, where he and Chelsea had lived before moving to Charlotte in 2016. At the time, Que was working for Buffalo Eatz on North Tryon and brainstorming grab-and-go dessert options. Crack fruit could be a big seller for the fast-food restaurant, he thought. But he couldn’t find anyone in Charlotte who sold it.
Crack fruit’s inventor, according to Que and other sources, was Deyanna Reed, who based it on her mother’s candy apple recipe. She dipped fresh fruit—grapes, mostly—in sugar, corn syrup, and water, which created a hard-candy coating, then rolled it in crushed hard candies like Jolly Ranchers or Nerds. She called it “crack fruit” for its addictive quality and began selling it out of her apartment in 2014. “She eventually got kicked out,” Que says, “because there were hundreds of people lined up outside her apartment, wrapped around the building, for her crack grapes.” Among them were celebrities like Cardi B and her rapper husband, Offset. “The area was kind of sketchy, and they literally called it ‘The Crack House.’”
In 2019, Reed opened a storefront in the Decatur neighborhood and ran with The Craxk House name and theme. Today, it has more than 114,000 followers on Instagram, and TikTok searches for “crack fruit” or “candy fruit” yield a seemingly endless series of candy-dipped fruit videos.
Then, last summer, Que had his couch dream, the family got to work, and they sold their first batch at Buffalo Eatz. “It picked up quick,” he says.
“Overnight, we went from literally just figuring out how to do this to, I’m in the house stressin’ out,” Chelsea says.
They named the business Trap Fruit Candy Co. By fall, Que and Chelsea, a business consultant, were making and selling it full time. “I’m up at 5 a.m. every morning making candy,” she says. Trap Fruit offers grapes, pineapple, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, watermelon, mango, and pickles (you read that correctly), coated in candy flavors like Cotton Candy, Blue Raspberry & Lemon Fruit Punch, and Gone 2 The Moon, a blend of green apple, blue raspberry, and grape. They also sell Shrimp Ramen and Spicy Bowls, as well as lollipops, cake slices, and cheesecake bites, but crack fruit is the main draw.
“We have clients from 6 years old to 68 years old. I had a granny that came all the way from Raleigh just to try it,” Que says. “The other night, a girl called me to place an order and said, ‘I’m driving from South Carolina. I’ll be there in an hour.’ … We have another customer who drives all the way from Kentucky.”
“People tell us, ‘I was going to drive to Atlanta to get some (from The Craxk House), but then I found you guys,’” Chelsea adds. “And I’m like, ‘You were about to drive four hours for some grapes?!’ But I love it.”
As of February, Trap Fruit had more than 1,200 Instagram followers and filled about 40 orders a day. Customers could order curbside pickup from Trap Fruit’s website; delivery through DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats; or grab some from the “Munchies” fridge at Buffalo Eatz. Que and Chelsea were searching for a storefront and commercial kitchen space and working out how to ship.
The long game? Chelsea laughs again. “How can we beat out Edible Arrangements?”
TESS ALLEN is the associate editor.