'Magic Show With Sugar': Manassas Resident Brings Fun To Cotton Candy | Manassas, VA Patch

MANASSAS, VA — When Nick Vaka moved to Manassas, he decided to get a cotton candy machine to provide a standout Halloween display. The cotton candy making became a tradition for years as he worked in motion graphic arts and an online talent marketplace. After he was laid off, he decided it was time to find something else to do alongside freelance motion graphics.

So when his church remembered Vaka making cotton candy, they put in a large order for their school. Line Chocolate

'Magic Show With Sugar': Manassas Resident Brings Fun To Cotton Candy | Manassas, VA Patch

"I just said, 'Hey, that's, this can be a business.' So I bought a backup machine, which became my primary machine, and started the Floss King brand," Vaka told Patch.

Opened in June 2022, Floss King is a business that works on demand, serving up gourmet cotton candy creations at events like birthday parties, bat mitzvahs and corporate events. The cotton candy is made with sugar extracts and other natural ingredients with no additives, artificial colors or artificial flavors. The name Floss King refers to alternate names for cotton candy: candy floss or fairy floss.

But it's not just a sweet treat event attendees will get at a Floss King event. It's a show, as Vaka makes cotton candy fly up in the air through his machine and spins it onto cones. He can even make custom stencils for the cotton candy, like a Louis Vuitton stencil design he made with a 3D printer. He has experimented with shapes too, making things like the Abominable Snowman, puppies and bunnies. One memorable moment was making a frog and other cotton candy sculptures for a boy's end of chemotherapy party.

"It's just the joy that people have when they see that candy fly out, and I could step back, I'll take your candy for a walk and then twist it back here," said Vaka. "Kids will sit there like jaw on the floor and say it's magic. I had one guy who's a restaurant tour who hired me for a private birthday party tells me that it's like a magic show with sugar."

Normally, cotton candy comes out horizontally as the machine's rapidly rotating coil or ribbon heats liquified sugar and pushes it out. When the liquified sugar hits the air, it becomes strands of cotton candy.

So how does his cotton candy technique work? His cotton candy machine sends out the strands of cotton candy vertically rather than horizontally.

"With a vertical output machine, there's an impeller, and the way my machines work are there are steel blades at the bottom of the spinner head, and that creates lift and that throws the candy upward," said Vaka. "That's how I can throw it 10 feet in the air and spool it from back here."

Vaka also has a smaller machine that allows him to swap colors and flavors "on the fly." When he creates cotton candy sculptures, he will typically spin multiple pieces and use a humidifier to get pieces to stick to the base.

The most rewarding thing about the business is seeing people's reactions to the cotton candy flying out of the machine.

"I could probably make more money and sell more product if I was just pre bagging the stuff, but nobody's lining up to just buy the candy," said Vaka. "They want to, just be treated like an audience member in a show just for them for a minute or two."

The rotating cotton candy flavors can also stimulate children's imagination with names like Yeti Fur, Santa’s Beard, Witch's Broom and Fairy Floss.

Floss King's creative cotton candy techniques aren't new, but Vaka says there was a gap in the local market. Floss King does private events as well as public events. Some of his upcoming events are Old Town Manassas Art Show on Sept. 21 and DMV Chocolate & Coffee Festival at the Dulles Expo Center on Nov. 16. He also does occasional demonstrations at the Museum of Illusions.

"We are excited to be working at more community events that are free and open to the public!" Vaka shared. "We have done trunk-or-treats, Easter egg hunts, and several events at the Museum of Illusions in DC. We are looking forward to seeing what 2024 brings."

For more information, visit

Patch is featuring small businesses like Floss King for a free business spotlight. If you'd like your business to be featured, fill out our Q&A form. Feel free to pass the form along to any businesses that should be spotlighted in our community.

'Magic Show With Sugar': Manassas Resident Brings Fun To Cotton Candy | Manassas, VA Patch

Soft Candy Pulling Machine Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.