Published June 02, 2012
Remember the candy you used to find in the penny candy store or at movie theatres? Candies like Ice Cubes, Nik-L-Lips and Moon Pies.
These candies were popular in the 1930s up to the 1970s, but now can be difficult to find anywhere, let alone in todays over commercialized megaplex theaters.
But we're happy to report that some classic candies are on the comeback trail.
Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in Clovis, Calif., which has stores along the west coast, sells a variety of retro candy. Scott Smith, manager at Powell’s, says many people come in and buy candy to reminisce about their youth.
“They want to feel like a kid in a candy store,” said Smith. “It’s someone who is a lot older they’ve seen it before they get a chance to express their feeling to their kids that is what mommy or daddy ate they when were a child,” said Smith.
One classic sold at Powell's that met with near extinction is Flicks Candy, a West Coast movie theater favorite for over a century.
“I grew up loving flicks in the movie theaters as a California kid. Popcorn, Coke, and Flicks!” said Jim Tjerrild, the CEO of Flicks Candy Co.
Flicks was originally produced by Ghiradelli Chocolate Company in San Francisco, Calif., but in the 1980s Ghriadelli stopped making Tjerrild’s favorite candy.
“They decided to abandon the brand because the packaging is expensive,” Tjerrild said.
Tjerrild has a chocolate equipment manufacturing business and Ghiradelli was one of his clients. It wasn’t until Tjerrild was at the Ghiradelli factory repairing a machine when he wondered what happened to his favorite childhood candy.
“I asked them for two years to bring it back and they said, 'No, no and no.' So I said, ‘If you don’t I will!'” Tjerrild said.
He bought the trademark and took the original machine, repaired it in Fowler, Calif., and started making Flicks. And Tjerrild says business has been excellent.
“It’s booming we’re almost doubling our sales with more that we can handle right now,” said Tjerrild. Flicks says it have plans to continue to expand and keep the retro candy in the 21st Century.
The growing popularity of retro candy can be seen by growth of shops around the country, like Dylan’s in New York City, Chicago’s Candyality and Rocket Fizz in Los Angeles.
And by the sales at Powell's, satisfied customers keep coming back for more.
“Coming into the store is like deja vu. It brings back memories, good memories, since candies are always fun,” said customer Terri Everett.
And it’s not the younger generation who is coming in to buy old time candy, since most have never even had the chance to try it.
Erica Heinisch works at Powell’s and believes there’s something special about the older candies.
“There’s just a better quality for the old fashioned candy,” she said. “They are just really excited that they’ve found something they haven’t seen in 20 years and they are so elated that they we actually have it.”