Sweet Nostalgia: NJ Shops That Sell Retro Candy
Remember running to the corner candy store for a treat after school or on the weekend when visiting grandma or grandpa? There was nothing like selecting penny candy from the counter or searching the shelves for candy cigarettes that puffed out a cloud of sugar, oversized bright-red wax lips, and sugar ball–filled Satellite Saucers that doubled as mini maracas.
Many of the old-fashioned candy items parents and grandparents enjoyed as kids are still available today at specialty stores. The throwback treats are a great way to relive your childhood with your own children— and bond over sugar. So, if your sweets supply has dwindled in the weeks between Valentine’s Day and Easter, here are some shops offering a variety of nostalgic fun and flavors.
Black River Candy Shoppe is brimming with barrels full of sweets.
Black River Candy Shoppe — Chester
Inside this rustic sweet shop, wood-paneled walls are lined with baskets and barrels full of treats. Head here for modern favorites or old-time delights such as BB Bats, candy cigarettes and bubble gum, Whatchamacallit bars, Chuckles jelly candy, Boston Baked Beans, JuJu Coins (Red Hot Dollars), Mary Janes, and Fruit Stripe gum. There’s also a variety of rock candy and jars of striped Pennsylvania Dutch hard candy sticks.
Candylicious — Randolph
Amid the see-through bulk candy bins and Jelly Belly and Pucker Powder dispensers that lend to a colorful décor, you’ll find plenty of good old-fashioned favorites. Remember Gold Mine gum, Smarties lollipops, fruit slices, malt balls, Hopjes, C. Howard’s gum, Peanut Chews, and ZotZ? You'll find them all here. If you’re not in a retro mood, check out the chocolate-dipped pretzels, apples, and gummy bears. There’s something for everyone.
Step back in time at Cardy's Sugar Bowl.
Cardy’s Sugar Bowl — Lodi
This family-owned sweet shop dates back to 1922, and you’ll feel transported to another era the minute you step inside. Feast your sweet tooth on Ice Cubes, Zagnuts, Bottle Caps, Sugar Daddy pops, Cow Tales, Turkish Taffy, Lemonheads, Pixy Stix, and Sno-Caps. If you’re short on cash, there are bins of three-cent penny candy from which to choose. Bring grandma and grandpa to this old-time neighborhood candy store and treat them to a freshly made egg cream.
Carole’s Candy Corner — Haddon Heights
There’s no shortage of sugar at this confectionery. If you can get past the chocolate counter, check out the shelves full of retro favorites inspired by the owner’s childhood. You’ll find goodies such as Pop Rocks, swirl pops, wax lips, candy necklaces, Satellite Wafers, and marshmallow candy cones. Can’t make up your mind? Head to the penny candy bins in back to stir up your own special memories.
Rocket Fizz — Montclair
You’ll feel like a kid in a candy store sorting through the open bins here. In addition to classic bite-size treats such as Goetze's caramels, Bit-O-Honeys, root beer barrels, and sesame logs, you can pick out taffy in flavors old and new (margarita, anyone?). On the shelves, you’ll find more retro sweets such as Tart n' Tinys, Moon Pies, Nik-L-Nip wax bottles, and Razzles. If you're in a hurry, the store sells ready-to-go, decade-specific candy bags. Rocket Fizz is also known for its unique soda selection (think peanut-butter-and-jelly flavor). Gag gifts and retro posters and signs add to the fun vibe. Rocket Fizz also has locations in Atlantic City and Marlton.
Photos courtesy of the shops