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Taste of childhood available at vintage candy store

Junk food may be linked to memory loss but eating a Jersey Milk or Crispy Crunch chocolate bar can transport a diet-conscious 60something faster than a speeding bullet back to their childhood, a time when the two-cent deposit on a pop bottle was a fortune. A time when a nickel bought a bag of candy; a quarter bought a candy bar, a bag of chips and a pop.

Boo Bah Loo 2, The Candy Store opened in downtown Sudbury a year ago. It’s slogan is “Bring in your children and remember your childhood.” Boo Bah Loo, the Candy Cabin, opened in Kagawong on Manitoulin Island four years ago.

Penny candy is as obsolete as the penny soon will be, but store manager Sandra Lautenschlager says a nickel can still buy a treat.

Most of the chocolate bars sold at Boo-Bah Loo 2 are American or British. But they are familiar to Canadians who lived near the American border and saw lots of American television or to those who grew up in Britain. When was the last time you had a Mr. Goodbar or a Cadbury Yorkie?

While British chocolate is similar to what Canadians know best, the bars from the USA are sweeter and a little waxier. Think Smarties versus M&Ms.

Some American candy was sold in Canada during the 1970s when the Canadian dollar was at par with the American’s, but it was too expensive most of the time because of the exchange rate, says Lautenschlager.

In addition to chocolate bars, the store sells Popeye candy sticks (formerly known as candy cigarettes), Chiclets, Thrills and the original Dentyne (made with sugar) gum.

The shop has a large assortment of PEZ candy dispensers. (One roll of mints has 35 calories.) PEZ was invented in Austria in the 1920s. The first dispensers from the late 1940s looked like cigarette lighters and the product was promoted as an aid to stop smoking. In the 1950s. PEZ started making colourful dispensers topped with Santa or Mickey Mouse lids. The dispensers—about 1,500 different ones have been issued over the years—are collectibles and have featured Popeye, Elvis, Batman, Darth Vader and Snow White.

All these treats can be washed down with a glass bottle of Jones soda or Orange Crush.

“People say pop tastes better in a glass bottle, says Lautenschlager.

The shop also sells the hard-to-find Vernors’ ginger ale that was created in 1866 by a Detroit pharmacist. It was made in the Motor City until 1985, and at one time there were bottling plants in southern Ontario. The brand is now owned by Dr. Pepper and made in Texas. Vernors is like regular ginger ale on steroids. (A Vernors and vanilla ice cream float is to die for. Or blend it together for a Boston cooler.)

People craving licorice, jelly beans, pink candy corn, and gummy bears or just a time when calories weren’t counted will get their fix at Boo-Bah Lou’s on Durham St. next to the Y.

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