b Magazine Spring 2011 : Page 66

nostalgia oh, sweet memories WRITTEN BY Alyssa Gerace WH EN IT CO M E S T O CA N D Y ST O R E S , PE O PL E OF AL L AG E S GE T excited. And when it comes to a specific era of candy, well, the delectable treats of the baby boomer generation are still in demand, as is evidenced by a resurgence of candy stores that offer them. Enter C l e a r To y Ca n d y Lo l l i po p Co m p a n y (C T C Lo l l i p o p C o) , located in Lancaster. Started by Helen Duncan in 1957, it was originally a small-scale production of “cut candy,” a clear batter that was poured out onto sheets and, after hardening, cut into strips and coated in confectioner’s sugar. Duncan would pack the unflavored strips of candy into baby food jars and give it to friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Then, in the 1960s, Duncan’s husband, Harold, gave her some clear toy candy molds and she began using those in addition to making “cut candy.” Duncan conscripted her six children into helping her produce the candy, and she began adding flavors like peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and clove to the lollipops. Over the years, making the lollipops remained a family affair as the Duncans would gather together each Thanksgiving to manufacture candy. Duncan’s candy-making had a lasting impression on one of her sons, Andrew Duncan, a public school teacher who began incorporating his mother’s lollipop manufacturing into his lessons. From left: “I recall sitting at the table, Georgie Lou’s Retro cutting candy the day after Candy and Thanksgiving, and it dawned on Gifts includes me that I could teach the Turkish Taffy, students how to make clear toy B•B•Bats, Sugar Daddy, candy candy, and they could operate the cigarettes and bubble gum cigars, Chuckles, Clear Toy Candy Company to Necco Wafers, and Nik•L•Nips, plus vintage-learn about business,” said style lunchboxes, mugs, and metal wall ads. Duncan. The program, according to the simple baby boomer-era product, he Duncan, turned out to be such a success decided to go into production. that he and his mother began creating From 2002 to the present, Duncan clear toy candy kits to sell to other and his mother have been producing schools. When Duncan left education in clear toy candy lollipops in 18 different 2001, he was inundated by inquiries as flavors. As with many other areas in life, to where to buy clear toy candy. most baby boomers have made the Surprised at all the interest garnered by 66 „ ( b ) magazine | spr ing 2011 ( ( ) )

Oh, Sweet Memories

Alyssa Gerace

The candy we loved as a kid … it’s still around!

WHEN IT COMES TO CANDY STORES, PEOPLE OF ALL AGES GET excited. And when it comes to a specific era of candy, well, the delectable treats of the baby boomer generation are still in demand, as is evidenced by a resurgence of candy stores that offer them.

Enter Clear Toy Candy Lollipop Company (CTC Lollipop Co), located in Lancaster. Started by Helen Duncan in 1957, it was originally a small-scale production of “cut candy,” a clear batter that was poured out onto sheets and, after hardening, cut into strips and coated in confectioner’s sugar. Duncan would pack the unflavored strips of candy into baby food jars and give it to friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

Then, in the 1960s, Duncan’s husband, Harold, gave her some clear toy candy molds and she began using those in addition to making “cut candy.” Duncan conscripted her six children into helping her produce the candy, and she began adding flavors like peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, and clove to the lollipops.

Over the years, making the lollipops remained a family affair as the Duncans would gather together each Thanksgiving to manufacture candy.

Duncan’s candy-making had a lasting impression on one of her sons, Andrew Duncan, a public school teacher who began incorporating his mother’s lollipop manufacturing into his lessons.

“I recall sitting at the table, cutting candy the day after Thanksgiving, and it dawned on me that I could teach the students how to make clear toy candy, and they could operate the Clear Toy Candy Company to learn about business,” said Duncan.

The program, according to Duncan, turned out to be such a success that he and his mother began creating clear toy candy kits to sell to other schools. When Duncan left education in 2001, he was inundated by inquiries as to where to buy clear toy candy.

Surprised at all the interest garnered by The simple baby boomer-era product, he decided to go into production.

From 2002 to the present, Duncan and his mother have been producing clear toy candy lollipops in 18 different flavors. As with many other areas in life, most baby boomers have made the Transition from preferring unflavored lollipops to favoring flavors like cherry, blue raspberry, watermelon, and mango.

“Many people fondly remember clear toy candy as unflavored, but once they taste the flavor and smooth texture, they come back for the flavored product,”

Duncan said.

Contrary to popular belief, clear toy candy can be made and sold year round, although it is most popular around Christmas and Easter. The CTC Lollipop Co. Uses a variety of mold shapes including daisies, bunnies, butterflies, Flip flops, and turkeys—shapes that can be customized to the occasion or season.

Another candy store that experiences a surge in business around the holidays is Fitzkee’s Candies, located in York.

Similar to the CTC Lollipop Co, it’s a family-owned business and was founded in 1934 by current president Robert Fitzkee’s mother.

Fitzkee, now 80, has been involved with the candy store since the tender age of 5. He remembers sitting at the kitchen table rolling candy for his mother. At the age of 10, he began waiting on customers.

Over the years, his participation increased and he began manufacturing candy, through the baby boomer era and into the present.

Fitzkee’s Candies boasts several hand-rolled or hand-dipped candies, like the peanut butter marshmallow egg, vanilla and vanilla butter crèmes, caramels, and cashew patties.

These candies, said Fitzkee, are manufactured just like they were in the “good ol’ days,” although the number of hand-dippers has decreased from eight to four over the years.

According to Fitzkee, the manufacturing for the peanut butter Marshmallow candy has not changed since the 1940s. “They don’t make a machine that would roll it, so it has to be hand-dipped,” he explained.

The fact that Fitzkee uses his own personal recipe of marshmallow for this particular treat makes it even more special. “No one else has the recipe, and we make it ourselves,” said Fitzkee. “There’s not many companies that can say that.” The peanut butter marshmallow eggs are a favorite with all ages, but Fitzkee said he remembers the popularity of hand-wrapped caramels, peanut butter kisses, liquorice buttons, ginger fruits, and Mexican hats—still sold at Fitzkee’s Candies— with the baby boomer crowd.

Fitzkee’s Candies has many, many loyal customers that have come back time and time again over the years, even after moving out of state.

Fitzkee said many of his older patrons have enjoyed sharing their childhood favorites with their own kids and grandkids.

Similar scenes have played out in Carlisle-based retro candy store Georgie Lou’s. “Parents and grandparents seem to try to introduce their kids and grandkids to their childhood favorites if they are in the store together,” said owner Stephanie Patterson Gilbert, who runs Georgie Lou’s with the help of her husband, Harlon, and sons, Georgie, Tommy, and Jack.

Although Patterson Gilbert wasn’t born until the early 1970s, she is nonetheless a fan of earlier eras. “I knew from the start that I would focus on retro and nostalgia,” she said, regarding the opening of her store in late 2009. “I love the decades between 1920 and 1970 or so, especially the ’40s and ’50s, so I started compiling lists of candy and other items that would fit into those eras.” Georgie Lou’s sells more than 475 kinds of candy popular from the 1930s through present day, with added authenticity thanks to Patterson Gilbert’s
Parents, Georgenne and Len Loy. “They are the boomers in the family and help me with technical advising when I’m not sure what a particular candy is,” Patterson Gilbert explained.

At Georgie Lou’s, baby boomers can get a blast from the past with candy cigarettes, candy buttons, wax bottles, Necco Wafers, Clark Bars, Zagnuts, Mallo Cups, Bottle Caps, and more.

Candy isn’t the only way boomers can revisit their childhoods at Georgie Lou’s because it’s more than a candy store.

Metal lunchboxes and signs, toys and games, and other gift items, many featuring pop culture icons or humorous takes on the past, figure prominently throughout the store.

“Everything we carry has a retro vibe,” touted Patterson Gilbert.

Products at Georgie Lou’s have prompted many an old memory from her patrons. “I’ve had several instances of Women in their 50s picking up batons and going through their high school twirling routines,” Patterson Gilbert recalled.

“Although boomers from different parts of the country may have slightly different candy favorites, one universal experience seems to have been collecting soda bottles for change to use at their corner candy store.

“People are happy here and sometimes apologize for their excitement at finding long-lost favorites, but I tell them not to,” Patterson Gilbert added, admitting that she designed the store hoping for such reactions but not knowing if she would get them. “It makes my day every time I hear an adult squeal over the candy they find here.” People of all ages will have ample opportunity to indulge their sweet tooth in all three of these family-oriented confectionary meccas, but baby boomers especially will once again get to experience being a kid in a candy store.

Read the full article at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Oh%2C+Sweet+Memories/625657/58649/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here