Remember when Penny Candy actually used to cost a penny…or maybe 5 cents? Not so much anymore.
I have such fond memories of going to a legit penny candy store in the Whistle Stop Mall in Rockport with my grandparents when I was little. Little UFOs with tiny little candies inside that were made out of what can only be described as thin edible styrofoam, delicate candy cigarettes painted red at the end, swedish fish (of course), licorice, and tons of other choices.
Flash forward more than 35 years and I’m reliving the dream by unleashing Thatcher and Finn in the Las Vegas of penny candy….and, much like Vegas, nothing really cost a penny.
Tucked away all hidden in the back of a pretty excellent surf and watersports shop called Force 5 in Nantucket is a little room, maybe 10 ft x 10 ft, filled to the brim with candy of all types and flavors.
To say the boys look forward to doing their little supermarket sweep through the bins, buckets, and shelves is a major understatement. With some minor parameters in place, we usually make the pilgrimage to Force 5 on our first full day on the island each June. The boys then get to slowly work their way through their candy loot during the rest of our stay….and well into our summer vacation.
My favorite thing by far about this little cavity creator is the incredibly polite young man who seems to always be working when we visit. Well, him and the Bit-O-Honeys. He couldn’t be nicer…and counts all of the candy in his head…occasionally reverting to the use of a calculator when combining siblings’ orders.
The not-so-penny-candy store is a huge hit amongst the kiddos…and even a bigger hit to the wallets. I kid you not that Thatcher’s little red basket totaled close to $40 and Finn’s was just under $30! While fairly ridiculous to lay down that kind of cash on candy, as with most things we do, it is waaaay more about the tradition.
The obligatory annual photo on the front steps tells the tale of a great little group of kids who are growing up together while celebrating some pretty fantastic traditions and creating memories to last a lifetime (and maybe some cavities).