Sweet beginnings

mango chocolate, white fudge

Barbara Lawlor Nederland

No one that walked into The Candy Store didn’t immediately smile. Only happy, eager faces looked around in awe at the sheer purpleness, the shiny wrappings, the barrels mounded with dreamy, forgotten candies of the past; the vintage cotton candy, popcorn, taffy pulling, Pucker Powder machines.

Children pulled their parents into the store and then went off on their own, trying to take it all in. A truly real honest to goodness candy store with so many things to buy one didn’t know where to begin. Mary Janes Peanut Butter Bars, Bit-o-Honeys, piles of gummy things, pareils, chicken stix, chocolate-covered mangos, creamy white fudge, mustaches on a stick, licorice, every kind of hard candy, chewy candy, fun candy and a hot chocolate bar.

Anthony Rumer’s face was filled with a grin as he held up his loot, a mixed bag. “At first in January I thought it was going to open and then I thought it would be February 1, and then it was February 20 and then I said ‘What?’ and then it was here. It brightens up all of Ned with the colors.”

cotton cany

Since the beginning of the year, local kids have been waiting for this day. On Friday, at 11 p.m. the doors opened and all through the day, people streamed into the shop in the upper bay of the shopping center where Dan Harrower and his twin daughters Heather and Brooke, 18, welcomed the customers.

Nederland Middle School student Tommy Shankey said, “When I first heard that a candy shop was coming to town, I thought it was another dispensary. And then the man said, c’mon on in and I thought yay, it’s gonna be a real candy store.”

Cross-country running and skiing coach Kathy Butler held the hand of Libby Chandler, 4, who said, “I like picking candy and I can walk here cause I live in Nederland. Last month, I walked past every day to see if it was opened.”

two girls and powder puggs

Tanya Bokat and Dave Hardy escorted Ava Bokat Hardy, 8, and Eliza Stern, 4, around the shop as they tried just about everything. The cotton candy machine was kind of grouchy with the altitude, but the girls didn’t mind as Heather Harrower caught the wisps of sugar and stuffed them in a bag. The fluffy sweetness was free for the day because of the machine’s slight malfunction, but the kinks will be worked out soon.

The Candy Store will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is definitely one of those places where one should leave their will power at the door.

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.