Love licorice? Stocking i Fantasy shoppe with black, red and ice cream liquorice

Black cat anyone?

My Everything Licorice Shop

Too long have licorice connoisseurs suffered in silence, allowing Chocolate Lovers to dominate the candy market. I am pondering opening my own Everything Licorice shop, complete with black and white trim, pink bar stools- maybe red- and live scotty dogs in the window to entice peevish pedestrians inside.

I have one interested investor; a gentleman like myself who indulges in fennel when licorice candy is nowhere to be found.

“What are those bulb things you're slicing?"
"You've never seen fennel? It looks like celery and tastes like licorice.”

Wrote Ken Jennings in Brainiac: Adventures In The Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World Of Trivia Buffs.

Perhaps I could expand my shop to include licorice flavored wines, like Amarone, Barolo or Valpolicella from Italy or Spain's Caranena. One must offer all options in today's world of grossly inflated leasing fees..

Colonial uses of licorice

The Big Black Bug

Should the competition get a jump on the name Everything Licorice, my second choice is The Big Black Bug . You don't like it? Too disgusting, you say? Well, then how does Queen Bug suit you? Ah yes, only Charles Schultz's Lucy will understand the positive nature of this designation:

Lucy: You know why that big black bug doesn't move? Because she's the queen bug! She just sits there, while the other bugs do all the work.

Charlie Brown: That's not a bug, that's a jelly bean.

Lucy: By golly, you're right, Charlie Brown. I wonder how a jelly bean ever got to be queen?

From Peanuts, Charles Schultz, 1955

Store layout and product

Straight ahead from the door, I will line the wall with glass cases containing licorice allsorts, licorice twists, hard licorice buttons, licorice drops, sticks, pastels, and even bar licorice. I will have licorice Scotties and Panda licorice, Haribo and Bassett's Liquorice Allsots, Chuckles, Kludjens German cookies, Li Hing plums, and of course, licorice jelly beans. All black licorice, all sensational, with bright, purplish bags the color of Mountain Licorice clover found in the Alps.

Abrus precatorius, a licorice root substitute, will climb trompe l'oeil walls with clusters of small violet flowers and pods containing bright scarlet seeds tipped with black- real enough to believe. This painting will stretch to the right, where small, round tables hosting four comfortable chairs each, will welcome weary guests to sit awhile and chat.

Servicing this small cafe will be homeopathic experts prescribing licorice root or a Licorice Root Tincture for ulcers and heartburn and other effects of stress, coughs, colds and bronchitis. Yogi Organic Egyptian Licorice Tea will be served as well as Stash Licorice Spice Tea. Connoisseurs like choice.

Continuing right, a gleaming bar tended by a large man with jet black hair and straight white teeth will offer adults Ouzo or Yager, Absinthe, Salmari or the most highly recommended of all, Pastis direct from France, imported by my daughter Cassie, fluent in French and seeking excuses to practice what she will someday teach.

Children will be directed left, towards the wagging dogs in the window and the ice cream bar with its black Black Licorice ice cream ordered direct from The Chocolate Shop in Wisconsin or Polar Bear White Licorice ice cream from Oregon Ice Cream Company. This is where I will hang out, wearing my black incognito mustache and purple apron-just a tad darker than the candy bags.

Consumers will be delighted to discover every variation of this sweet root inside my store. I will even sell salmiakki from Finland, the salted candy Finns adore. And Salmiakkikoskenkorva, a homemade vodka drink containing the pepper candy, Tyrkisk peber.

Jerry Garcia was a fan of licorice

My grand opening will be dedicated to Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. I saw him in concert once- 1979 at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. I did not become a Dead Head.

Still, he is the man who said, "Our audience is like people who like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who do like licorice really like licorice."

He also said, "Fill your life with magic, bliss, power and myth."

To the late Jerry Garcia, I say, "Okay then! This mythical Hub is for you."

Licorice as health remedy

More by this Author


Comments 31 comments

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

What a fun hub! I personally love red licorice, but both my mom and my youngest son would be frequent visitors to your store... they adore the genuine black stuff.


John Chancellor profile image

John Chancellor 8 years ago from Tennessee

Story teller,

It sounds like a dream you have had for some time.  Where do you plan to open this store? 

Being a practical minded business person, I see the need for this being in a high traffic area, perhaps a high traffic tourist area. 

With that said, why not do an online store?  Your market would expand and your overhead would drop. 

But then I am not sure if your primary motivation is to make a profit or create an interesting meeting place.  Keep in mind that if you are seeking to create an interesting meeting place, making a profit might be a struggle unless you have an abundance of the right kind of traffic.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Your prose is so refreshing! I feel as though I just visited Everything Licorice, hung out with the doggies and nibbled a queen jelly bean. Delightful imaginings.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Where????Where???Where??I thought I was the only hard-core licorice lover in the whole wide world. I can't stand chocolate but give me anything licorice and I can't stay away. I even love the double-salted dutch style licorice. You tell me where and I'll be your first customer.

great fun hub regards Zsuzsy


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

Very well written. I could see it! I could smell it! My husband would be a frequent customer, as he loves licorice...Me, I'm a chocolate gal. However, as chocolate is in heaven right as we enter the door, licorice is probably proud to own their spot, right along with taffy. I would open an Anything Caramel Shop, with half the store dedicated to Chocolate. The two flavors own me, with a recent re-introduction to Grape. Gee, maybe I just like sweets.


Trsmd profile image

Trsmd 8 years ago from India

Mythical Hub?


RUTHIE17 8 years ago

Very good--could see it and smell it! Written very well!!

Trouble is I hate licorice, especially the black kind. Give me chocolate (the good dark kind) and that's my heaven---oh yeah, throw in some assorted nuts for good measure!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

Thanks, everyone, for this gratifying response. Perhaps Everything Licorice will become the backdrop for some future story I write. Evidently, I have the sights and the smells. All I need are some characters. And a plot. Minor details!


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Licorice was the first favorite of mine back when Lincoln was President - just kidding about Lincoln that is, not about licorice!!  Anyway, I still love it and I noticed when I lived in Spain the taste was different.  I believe it's because they use a different kind of sweetner - fructose, maybe?

Have you experienced the taste of licorce as made in other countries?  My grandma, who was Czech, said they made really great licorice candy in Prague (Praha)


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

What a great hub! In the 1980s I lived with my family in a little village named Barton Mills in England. My mother took us to the neighboring village and bought some "authentic" licorice from a health food store. No sugar whatsoever. I think it was really tire rubber! After all, there's fish oil in the ice cream there (which is delicious).

Nevertheless to this day I'm a huge licorice fan. You may give Joanne Harris a run for her money!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

Hey Chef Jeff! Thanks for asking about Spanish and Czech licorice. I have sampled licorice from Holland, Norway, Germany, Finland and England but I have never had licorice from either of those two locales.

I looked into the Spanish connection and my understanding is that our American licorice tends to use anise instead of licorice root, which changes the flavor and the sweetness. Also, salt content varies- Europeans often use little or no salt in their sweet licorice, which would affect the flavor. Some licorices add salmiak, which gives the licorice a somewhat ammonia taste which folk either love or hate.

I guess Spain at one time produced most of the extract supply from their homegrown licorice root, and because of this, licorice root extract became known as Spanish juice.

Other than these bits of trivia, I haven't found any specifically Spanish or Czech licorice candy available anywhere. Can anyone else help me out here?

Both countries produce a supposedly tasty licorice liquor: Spain's Anis, made from anise; Czech Sebor Absinth, considered to be one of the finest absinthe liquors anywhere. Absinthe was once considered unsafe,as it was believed to bring on seizures and madness when consumed regularly. In fact, Van Gogh's severed ear is often blamed on his taste for absinthe.

Many International licorices are available at this location:

http://www.marinamarket.com/istar.asp?a=3&dept=28

BTW, I am embarrassed to note I left out one of my childhood favorites, Black Jack gum! Better provide a shelf for that, right next to the register!


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Thanks for the info on Licorice.  I think Absinthe was only dangerous when it was consumed in great quantities!  But once I think it had some drug or another added to it that is no longer there - was it wormwood????

I, too, remember Black Jack gum - wasn't it named after Gen Pershing?  I think he used to chew licorice roots, and wasn't there a caricature of a "soldier" on the cover?


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

I found information about Black Jack at http://www.oldtimecandy.com/black-jack-gum.htm

Haven't verified what you ask, but this site is interesting!


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I love Black Jack gum! The only place I've seen it recently is at a truck stop in Utah. Trucker's bliss, no doubt! Stash tea and Black Jack gum, count me in!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

I can't believe it... my daughter brought home a tube of toothpaste from France that tastes like licorice! Anise, more, maybe. A bit of heaven, lol.


Moon Daisy profile image

Moon Daisy 8 years ago from London

Oh, I love liquorice, and this hub is making my mouth water.

I'm drinking liquorice tea at the moment, something that none of my friends or family appreciate, and whenever I go to a bar I'm the only person there drinking ouzo or pastis. My holiday in Italy a few years ago was most memorable due to the flaming sambucas - (glorious!) and the liquorice jelly sweets that I guzzled by the dozen.

Amazingly, at the last place I worked everybody in my office was a liquorice fan, and whenever we went on holiday we'd bring back liquorice treats for everyone. But it's a rare thing to have so many liquorice fanatics in any one place...

So few people really appreciate it and get what there is to love about it. I hope your dream of creating this wonderful shop comes true, then I will travel to wherever it is and immerse myself in all things liquorice. I'll have such an amazing time!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

Thank you, Moon Daisy! You inspire me to consider this seriously. It's been a dream more than a reality...


Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 8 years ago

I seem to perfer red Licorice over the black which is an acquired taste, I buy the big tubes and it goes really fast.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

I like red on car trips! Is that strange??? LOL


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 7 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

I use licorice in the winter to feel better when the available light dims and the sun sets at 4:30.

I also use it in the summer to keep from perspiring too much.

I use it whenever I feel like it, too, because Licorice is FOOD OF THE GODS!

Now I need to find a way to incorporate it into a dinner recipe!

Cheers, Chef Jeff T.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

Hey Chef, Where ya been? Missed you. Anyway, food of the Gods... I like that! For Thanksgiving I bought my daughter some raspberry licorice. I personally am sticking with black. I love that dark molasses flavor...


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I love licorice and it is hard to find all types of it, my favorite is black and green apple. However green apple is hard to find. I enjoyed this hub.:)


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

Hey, AE, check out the video above- the one on the right that offers licorice holiday gift items.  I am quite certain they offer green apple!  I had never heard of it.  Is it Granny Smith green?  Thanks for visiting!


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

A game of Candyland anyone?

I love black licorice! What a fun hub.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

Thanks, RKH!  Shall we fill our Easter baskets with Black Cats this weekend instead of Bunnies???


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

This was fantastic!! I agree with everyone on being able to see and smell your virtual Everything Licorice shop! That, however, would be all I would like about it, I love the smell of anise but have never been a big fan of licorice

:( but oh my story teller you are a wordsmith true to the core!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

Golly geepers you made my day!!! Thanks so much!


gramarye profile image

gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

I love licorice, and even collect licorice alsorts tins. Great Hub.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

That is so cool, gramarye! I am going to add an eBay allsorts tin collection link to this page. Thanks for clueing me in on this fun activity!


aslanlight profile image

aslanlight 5 years ago from England

Liquorice is so healthy for the immune system! I didn't spell it wrong; that's the UK spelling. Have you seen 'The Chocolatier' with Johnny Depp? The little chocolate shop with chocolate treats that help people's health reminds me of yours. By the way it's unusual and charming to see that you've called it a shop rather than a store.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter Author

aslanlight, thank you for sharing the UK spelling. Somehow this spelling implies a more savory product.

I have seen Chocolat... does this also have an alternate spelling? Hmmm. I love that movie. Perhaps it influenced me!

Shall I change the spelling of my title to Shoppe? I like that as well. I am a person who spells gray "grey" most often because the "e" seems more cheerful.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working