Above, the entrance to b.a. Sweetie candy company. It doesn't look like much, but the brochure says: "Largest candy store in North America. 40,000 square foot of fun!"
The brochure also adds: "From all the old time favorites to the new kids crazes." That phrase "...all the old time favorites" is what lured me to the store. I'd read some online reviews of the place, many of which sang hosannas to seeing the favorite candies of their youths again.
I also thought it'd be fun to see some "old time favorites" again and that it was! I spotted Indianhead pumpkin seeds (super-salty, they were), those wax bottles with the flavored liquid inside, and those weird flying-saucer things that tasted like styrofoam and have little candy balls inside. I also saw some other old favorites, like candy necklaces and candy cigarettes. I almost felt I was once again in the dime stores of my childhood, D&C and McClellan (later changed to McCrory).
Want to refill your Pez container with only one particular flavor? You can do that; individual flavors are sold by the pound. In fact, that seemed to be a strong point of b.a. Sweeties - many types of candies were sold by the flavor. This is obviously a bonus if you have a weakness for one candy flavor - mine is grape - or if you want to represent your school or wedding colors in candy dishes or favor bags.
Many candies are sold individually, but if you want to load up on a favorite, you can buy large bags as well. I think those bags were in the three-pound range.
I say "I think" because the place was so big, it was a bit overwhelming. Also, I didn't have as much time to look around as I would have liked, since I was with my husband. He has the habit of rushing me through stores. Next time I'll have to go by myself!
A few other highlights of the store, again including a couple of quotes from the store's brochure:
- "Choose from 300 types of glass bottle Soda Pop. Most made with PURE CANE SUGAR!" A quick glance of this section revealed some old-timey brands as well as some unusual flavors.
- "Over 800 bins of bulk candy starting at only $2.99 per pound."
- There's also "Sweeties Soda Shoppe", which sells a number of ice cream treats. They make their own ice cream.
Now, it's true that many of the candies sold at b.a Sweeties, even some of the retro ones, can be found in the usual businesses where candy is retailed. For instance, when I told a fried that I got a few strings of grape Zotz, she commented that a local candy store sells them as well. Indeed, they do - I stopped in there yesterday while on an errand and saw grape Zotz - at twice the price per string I'd paid at b.a. Sweeties.
I almost bought a 3lb bag of grape Zotz at b.a. Sweeties - or I could have forced my husband to wait a little while longer while I scooped some out from the bulk bin area. I thought I was being so good by only sticking to a couple of strings. Now I kind of wish I'd bought that mega-sized bag of them.
Oh well, there's always online ordering! The b.a. Sweetie website is here. Once you go to the site, there's a link to their online store.
But if you want to see more candy than you ever imagined under one roof, you ought to check out the warehouse store if you're ever in the Cleveland area.