Walking with Grandpa at the Candy Store while he reminisces about all those favorite candies from his days of being a youth, he teaches me how to appreciate them. This is his story.
Remembering my youth, when a sweet tooth was just a part of life, there were so many kinds of tempting treats to be had, and easy to find favorites. Keeping my hands out of the glass jar that sat on the kitchen counter was a difficult task, but when you’re a kid and there’s candy, nothing is impossible. One day while out and about town with my parents, from the back seat, I saw a magical place filled with treats and sweets. At least to me it was magical! There was a man inside that looked familiar, it was grandpa at the candy store and he was filling little bags with contents from glass jars.
The next time I visited the grandparents, that jar on the counter that I had come to look forward to on every visit, was full again. With a wink towards my dad, grandma asked me if I would like to have a piece of candy from grandpa’s special stash. Of course, I said yes. That was a long time ago!
Out For A Walk – With Grandpa At The Candy Store
Now in my 60s, the sweet tooth long gone, the fond memories of some of those treats take me back to then, and on occasion, a piece here or there are not going to slip by without reminding me of their magic. It is also of a new quest to seek out those places that have candies that brought us so many memories along with great assortments and flavors in our youth’s.
Far and few between, they are out there and in order to find the shops with just the right kind of treats is going to take a bit of detective work. Most places these days feature modern chocolates and candies. Some are custom and others try to replicate the originals. Just not the same.
Soon the little hand of a grandchild in mine will be a proud moment and taking a walk may just uncover those secret little places that will enable them to begin their own journey that will last forever in their minds, hearts, and in reality, their taste buds. Just as we too remember those flavors that began our journey’s.
It used to be that sometimes you could go down to the local pharmacy and although their mainstream was to make us well again, on rare occasions, there would be those now hard to find little treasures in small bins, if not the glass jars. Special attention would also be played to the soda fountains at the large counter with plenty of treats sprinkled atop ice cream concoctions, but that is will be another story.
Modern just doesn’t seem to cut it when looking for good old fashioned candy. There has to an authentic look and feel to the place to trigger the passions we so deeply wish to rekindle. That could prove harder than it sounds. Most likely one would be better off with searching online and once the item(s) are located, your mind will fill in the details of what you remember.
A Short List – Plenty to go around
Below you will find a list of online sources where you can find some of those nostalgic treats. When searching for the one’s that seemed to get away, be sure to look further back in time on those sites that offer choices by the decades. Why? You may be surprised that some of the candies that you became so enamored with, might actually go back further in history than thought. What about your parents, ask them to name a few of their favorites from a time long ago. How would their memories sound if they could taste, one more time, a part of their lives that created passions.
Old Time Candy: With over 70 different sources and ability to search by the decades, you are sure to find something worth it’s weight in gold.
Candy Warehouse:. You’re in for a treat here. What ever you are searching for most likely can be found. Even those elusive Butter Rum Life Savers that began in 1938
Candy Favorites: This one has been around for some time (1927), and with over 3000 varieties, chances are what you are seeking, can be found with just a couple of keystrokes
Grandpa Joe’s: From A to Z, it’s here. If you are fortunate enough to live in Pennsylvania or Ohio, look up the nearest store and pay them a visit. Large assortment and just like the brick and mortar locations, online is plum full of everything you always wanted in candy as a child.
While there are plenty of other sources to find candies from the past, don’t overlook any local shops that may hold hidden gems withing their walls.
Old Time Favorites – Older Than You Thought
Where did candy come from? Here you will find conflicting stories about the history of candy. Egypt, Mexico, Greece! For information on how it all came about, go to Candy History and get a quick lesson on how nuts, fruits and honey began an everlasting love affair with the sweet tooth.
Big chances are that what you loved as a child, had already been around for some time. Back then, you were just being introduced to a new concept of enjoyment in life. More discoveries began to develop as you entered the teen years and new trends in the edible sweets would dazzle the taste buds.
So what was your favorites from memory? For many of us, there were plenty of choices and picking a single one is without a doubt a daunting task. As a friend told me recently when asked about favorites, her response was “judging by my figure, all of them”. Guess I could say the same about myself and crafted beers.
At this point, you are probably asking yourself, are these favorites that old? If you mean have they been produced and put into boxes, sitting around all these years? Most likely not. Large candy companies either continue to created, or have the rights to distribute them. They are still made fresh but just out of the limelight from the years gone by.
Fruit Stripe Gum Reeds Hard Roll Candy Cherry Mash
Now & Later Pez Lemonheads
Zotz Candy Cigarettes Pixy Stix
Satellite Wafers Bottle Caps Mike & Ike
Life Saver Rolls (and books) Whatchamacallit Gobstoppers
Banana Splitz Black Cows Mary Janes
50th Anniversary Buttermints Chick O Stix Root Beer Barrels (Dad’s)
Candy Necklaces Gold Wrapped Coins Yum Yum Marshmallow Cones
Atomic Warheads Rolo Black Taffy
The list goes on and on. This is just a sampling of what is available out there for your taste buds to reunite with for a sweet dance down memory lane. A lot of what you liked would also depend on which country you are or were from. What is popular in the states is not necessarily anything close to what might be overseas.
In the U. S, Necco wafers was originated in 1847 but not formed into a company until 1901. So who holds the record for the oldest brand? Produced by the Quaker City Confectionery Company in Philadelphia, this brand has managed to outlive many competitors and still today, one can find it easily. The winner – from 1893 – Good & Plenty.
The Bad Boys – Making Your Day
Well you know what they say…Go Big Or Go Home! Well they’re out there, and yes they are still the kings when it comes to size. What child’s eyes don’t get bigger when they see these monstrosities. Mine did when I was young. It didn’t matter what it was as long as it would last a long time. Of course it had to taste great too, but those thoughts came in second place.
Not just those lollipops, there’s plenty of others one can search for on any of the above listed sites and find a good assortment of the kings and queens of the candy world. Just enter “giant candy” into their search bars and the results will reveal not only some old time candies, but also many more modern favorites in sizes you probably didn’t know even existed. Sweet!
Candy necklaces, lollipops, giant jawbreakers and many more favorites can be found and bought for a price of course. It just a matter of size and funds to make sure your sweet tooth is sated.
Being A Kid Again – Perfect Gifts
While it is perfectly normal to be a bit excited and to have a gleam in the eyes from finding old time favorites, one can only wonder about the others in your lives. What were their favorites? How would they react if they were to receive a gift from you containing favorites from their era? Ask, just ask about the favorites and then when the time is right, surprise them and watch their eyes light up and a smile spread from ear to ear as the mind reels in memories from a long time ago.
Well I’ve got what I came for and will be sure to come back to get more favorites and to discover new ones. In the meantime, with a grandchild walking beside me, carrying a little sack full of treats, I will put a couple of them in my pocket to have handy while we walk down the street to another tasty treat place I know of. I think it’s time to introduce the little one to a concoction of ice cream and soda, with a straw!
Who knows, hopefully someday they will grow up and tell their own stories about their adventures with grandpa at the candy store.
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