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The Candy Store Experience
A lot of us have a sweet tooth, and what better place to indulge it than a shop that's built to cater to it?
Candy stores have developed a big range since the good old days. Some still resemble the shops from the days of old with the barrels and bins of lemon drops, peppermints and jelly beans while others pair the bins with racks of name-brand bars and bags. Some only sell candy, others sell toys, keychains and other novelties. But modern or classic, they're a sweet tooth's dream factory.
We have a candy shop on my street that mostly sells chocolate. During certain parts of the year they'll offer ice cream sundaes, coffee and until recently they had a small diner in the back of the shop. We also had a second candy store until sometime after I moved into my current apartment, they were more diverse in what they offered and had ice cream year round. I've also been to the big candy stores at the malls, most recently the It's Sugar store at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. And as a teenager, I enjoyed a trip to a shop in Salem, MA that was said to be hundreds of years old. (Or at least they had a piece of candy that was that old! Fascinating!)
But these days, you don't necessarily have to walk into a store for your sweet fix. As always, the internet knows how to provide. Old Time Candy offers everything from the pre-1920s to the current era, including regional goodies that may be harder to find depending on where you live. I've ordered from them many times and they've never disappointed! There's also bulk candy stores, which I admit are tempting but are probably best left for those running shops or providing for large groups of people.
Sometimes going to a candy store can be an atmospheric pleasure, rather than just a chance to buy snacks. The more old-fashioned ones give off an era of calm and nostalgia, and even if you don't intend to buy much it's still nice to look. Something about bins filled with colorful treats and wrapped delights is pleasing to the eye, and watching people fill sacks with their favorites is nice to observe. Of course, if you're like me you end up buying more than you intend to, candy or not!
Candy World. Today's standard mall candy store. The one I go to most often has one and they're pretty good; they have both bins and brand names and they sell plushies and keychains to boot.
Sweet Factory. They used to have one at the Nanuet Mall. Sadly, it went when the mall did a few years ago and I'm still disappointed. They specialized a lot in chocolates, including chocolate-covered gummi bears and cookie dough bites.
Candy Candy. Another one from the Nanuet Mall. Every time I went to that mall I'd either want to go to both places or try to pick just one, and it wasn't easy. This one had every Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor!
It's Sugar: It's like two or three Candy Worlds meshed together, with all kinds of novelties and fancy sweets and name brands. They also sell plushies and Hello Kitty merchandise, a big plus for a collector like me.
Old Time Candy. Like I mentioned above, they never disappoint. They sell everything, very reliable shipping and they always give you a coupon for 10% or more off on your next order. They sell nostalgia decade boxes, too.
Kritchley's Candy in New Jersey. Very small and cozy!
Any local place. Not only do they handmake the majority of their sweets, but it's always good to support a small business. And if you're lucky, they'll hamdmake their own fudge right on the premisis. Homemade fudge is always a nice bonus.
There's a lot I've heard of but have yet to visit: Dylan's Candy Bar in New York, which I've seen and heard about often enough that I wish New York City was closer by! And I recently found out there is a See's Candy in my state, in one of the many shopping centers. And perhaps someday I'll get to visit a candy warehouse, just for fun.
Candy stores aren't just a good place to indulge a sweet tooth, they can be an experience in and of themselves whether you prefer big open spaces or cozy little shops.