Where Do You Buy Candy?

February 22, 2010 at 8:25 am 4 comments

Where do you go to buy candy? Not special candy, but just your everyday ordinary candy purchases. I live in the city, so for me, it’s the drug store (believe it or not, there are three within three blocks of my apartment). I hear about a lot of great candies found at Target, a lot of great deals at Wal-Mart, sometimes regional finds at gas station convenience stores.

When I was a kid, I used to ride my bike to the candy store. OK, it was in a suburban strip mall, but it really was a candy store.  I can’t remember what was in the back of the shop, but the front was all candy, all kinds. I went looking for it last time I visited my parents. Alas, that store is long gone. Now it’s a dry cleaner.

So where did people buy their candy a hundred years ago? One big difference between then and now is that there were candy shops in every town, shops that in most cases sold at least some goods that were made on the premises. When I think about the early 20th century, this is the image that always comes to me.

So I was happy to find this ad for Greenfields chocolate, which gives us an interesting picture of how and where people might buy the more “fancy” sorts of candy around 1907.

Of course, department stores and drug stores were major players. This is where the more expensive candies were sold. They catered to customers with more time and money to shop and spend.

The other idea in this ad is the association of candy with transportation. People buy Greenfields on board the rail road, in the train station, on the ferry. In 1907, candy is some thing you might eat on the way. Looking at these ladies’ clothes, though, I’d guess we’re not talking about grabbing a bite aboard a crowded bus, of course. More like lounging in your state-room or private car.

We still buy candy in the airport or at the train station. These days, though, candy on the go is more likely to mean a cup-holder fitted container in the front seat of the SUV.

Entry filed under: 1890 to WW I, Marketing. Tags: , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark D.  |  February 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Drug Stores, Wal-Mart, Target, Dollar type stores and then family run gas stations. Networking with friends to locate candy for you is also a great way to get/find candy. If I’m really desperate, I use the internet, but shipping costs add up quickly.

    • 2. CandyProfessor  |  February 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      Yeah, I can’t bring myself to order a $3 item and $6 shipping! You know, I’ve been noticing candies you review that seem really mainstream, but I never see them. I wonder how much regional variation there is in the stock of the major national chain stores? Example, those red heart Jr. Mints. Are they everywhere? I missed them entirely.

  • 3. Sharon  |  February 24, 2010 at 8:26 am


    Came across these pictures the other day, thought of you. Not sure if you know about these guys or maybe even written about them already…. but i figured it couldn’t hurt. PS I buy my candy at CVS; it is right across the street from my high school. Plus right now V-day candy is 75% off, great bargins if you like those little hearts

    • 4. CandyProfessor  |  February 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm

      Fantastic! I’ve seen the bars, but the photos take it to another level! I’ve got to figure out what to do with that. I saw those cinnamon jelly hearts at our CVS today at 75% discount; a huge temptation to eat a bag of candy sometime between 6 and 10 pm. After all, it’s practically free!


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Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

Welcome to Candy Professor

Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

(C) Samira Kawash

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