Visions of sugar plums?
Thanks, but we’d rather have some good ol’ candy in our holiday stockings.
Want to know where to get the best old-timey candies in Columbia? You know the ones, you can scoop out of bins and barrels to create a mix of your favorites?
Here are three suggestions.
What’s in the barrrels: You have your classics – Mary Janes, Atomic Fireballs and Goetze’s caramels – along with newer candies like Smartees and Starbursts, at $7.48 per pound.
What else: Well, there are peanuts. You can string the dry roasted ones, along with some popcorn, to trim the tree. And, of course, popcorn. Most are riffs of cheese flavors (parmesan & garlic, jala’ cheddar, double cheese delight), but there are some sweet (Cinnabun Monkey Crunch or classic caramel) and seasonal flavors (pumpkin spice). Prices depend on size and container (bag or tin). Don’t forget the bushel bags of plain and buttered popcorn, $14.99 each.
Open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. 1700 Huger St. (800) 322-7688, www.cromers.com
Mast General Store
What’s in the barrrels: Mast is all about the nostalgia, so the store carries lots of retro candies. You’ll pay about $7.99 a pound for everything from licorice, ginger candy and saltwater taffy to Mary Janes, Bazooka bubble gum and Gummie hot dogs.
What else: Don’t want to scoop your own or want to stay true to a specific era? Mast has boxed assortments based on decades. For instance, the “Favorites from the ’50s” box has Chuckles, Sweet & Sour Pop, Coconut Longboys, Slap Stick, Mini Sugar Daddy, Bit O Honey, Vanilla Bullsete, Necco Jrs, Root Beer Barrels and Salt Water Taffy. The ’80s box has Now and Later, Fun Dip, Mini Nerds, Small Runts, Bit O Honey, Zotz, Pixy Sticks, Charms Blow Pops, Saf-T-Pops, Sweet Tarts and Fireballs. And don’t forget about the toys!
Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. 1601 Main St. (803) 771-2300, www.mastgeneralstore.com/columbia
The Peanut Man
What’s in the barrrels: Well, there are no barrels, per se, but you can pick out sweet assortments of candies from the 200-plus jars at prices ranging from $7.99 to $9.99 per pound. The focus is mainly on the handmade confections: chocolate-dipped pretzels, peppermint sticks, graham crackers and marshmallows; plain and peppermint Rice Krispy treats; and handmade chocolate-covered peanut butter cups.
What else: As the name implies, peanuts are for sale (boiled, roasted and Cajun) but save room for caramel apples, peanut brittle and handmade truffles. There also is also popcorn in 30 flavors, and colors, from banana and blueberry to cherry, grape, orange and watermelon.
Four locations: 1215 Lincoln St., (803) 799-9988, open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday; 461-2 Town Center Place, Village at Sandhill, (803) 419-0705, open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday; 1333 Dutch Fork Road, (803) 781-7577, open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday; 1602 Marina Road, Suite C, Irmo, (803) 563-5969, open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. www.thepeanutman.com