Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary

The first anniversary is traditionally paper. For The Candy Store,
paper isn't really the most fun way of celebrating our first
incredible and thrilling year in Westboro. So in honour of our special
day and as a thank you to everyone for being there along with us,
we're switching paper for floss! Not the dental kind (we hope you're
thinking about that kind of floss more than once a year!), but the
candy kind! On Tuesday, June 2, our first anniversary, we're giving
away free candy floss to all our customers. It's our sweet way of
saying thank you for all the support, kindness, consideration and
friendship we've been so fortunate to receive during this past year.

In fact, this year has far exceeded anything that we could have
dreamed for - from being named the #1 candy store in the city by the
Ottawa Citizen, to the numerous appearances on A-Channel, Rogers and
the CBC. We were so happy to be featured in print such as in issues of
Where Ottawa, Ottawa at Home, Porter Airline's in-flight magazine and
many other great local sources and blogs.

What made this year so special though, is all of the wonderful people
who have made The Candy Store a part of their lives. From the generous
and remarkable staff at The Candy Store, to our lovely neighbouring
stores whom we've grown to know and our always-helpful BIA and the
best Scotia Bank team in the city. Not to be forgotten, of course, are
our supportive and loving families who do more behind the scenes than
most people will ever know. They're a source of strength and cherished

As we enter our second year at 350 Richmond Road, we want to say thank
you for the first year and we look forward to having you join us in
the next!

Please stop by on June 2nd to say hello and have some cotton candy on
us. And please note that we'll be closing at 6:00PM that day to take
our hard working staff out to celebrate. They've earned a night out!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are you a rookie?

We’re less than two weeks away from our first anniversary here at The Candy Store and we’ve had such an incredible year! We’ve gotten to know so many wonderful people as they’ve come through our door for snacks and delights. If you’re one of the few, however, who hasn’t yet had a chance to take in the sights, smells and tastes of The Candy Store, we understand it can be a little overwhelming at first (especially for the true chocoholic or sweet tooth!). So for the soon-to-be initiated, a survival guide of Ottawa’s sweetest spot:

1. Take your time. There is so much to see here and it really is so much fun to take it all in. Our goodies range from retro, gummies, licorice and bon bons to gourmet chocolates, nougat, British treats and, of course, our malt balls from New York City. With such an incredible array to choose from, you’re going to be thankful for a little extra time. And don’t forget to look behind the counter – it’s so easy to become mesmerized in the store that you don’t even notice our floor to ceiling jars behind the counter until the end – that’s not something you want to miss out on!

2. Make your own mix. With so much selection, it can really be hard to narrow down what you’d like to take home with you. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: you can mix our delicious bulk selections into your own personalized bag. There are bags and scoops around the store for you to help yourself and you can ask any of our cheery candy consultants for help with the over sixty types of items behind the counter. We have one rule: candy with candy and chocolate with chocolate. And yes, we DO have the patience to get you “one of everything from behind the counter.”

3. Ask, ask, ask! If you don’t know what something is or would like some recommendations, please ask us. There are candies and chocolates from all over the world at The Candy Store and we love to be able to share our knowledge of the origins, ingredients, tastes and stories surrounding our selections. We try everything we stock, so we’re an excellent resource.

4. Structure your visit. This is a tip for anyone coming to visit us with little ones: we’ve found they really love to make their own bags from behind the counter. Because we weigh our candy, you can set guidelines for them to follow while making their choices, such as a limit of 100 grams. This a sneaky way to get a little math into the day because after adding each candy we’ll put the bag on the scale for them to count up just how much they have left in their 100 gram allowance. Our veteran candy choosing little ones have gotten really good at learning how much individual pieces of candy weigh and it becomes a game. Alternatively, giving a dollar limit as a guideline works and makes them think about their candy in an entirely different way!

5. Give it a whirl. Our last tip is one of our favourites: Try something new! With so much to choose from, why not branch out a little and get something you wouldn’t otherwise try or find elsewhere. Are you a dedicated gummi girl? Try a few of our chocolate selections – we can even ease you into it with chocolate covered gummi bears. Already a total chocoholic? You might find yourself pleasantly surprised by our English bon bons!

Regardless of how you approach a visit to The Candy Store, we’re certain you’ll always have a sweet time!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Going Dutch

May is such a busy month! Everyone seems to be out taking advantage of all this city has to offer. If you haven't seen the tulips at the various Tulip Festival sites around town, you've got one weekend left to take it all in. They truly are a fantastic sight and a lovely reminder of the story of Princess Margriet from the Netherlands.

To really "go Dutch" and celebrate while traipsing through the tulips, we recommend Dutch licorice. We have a selection in store of nearly twenty varieties and can offer advice and samples on the types and tastes. Dutch licorice, unlike its North American counterpart, really focuses on the licorice root and does not partake in excess sweeteners. In fact, a common name for Dutch licorice is salty licorice, but don't be fooled: not all of the licorice on offer is salty!

Dutch licorice types are defined by their taste and their texture. Sweet, single salted, double salted and menthol are a few of the taste categories. While soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, hard and stiff are texture categories. For the newly indoctrinated licorice taster, start with something that is more familiar: honing, a honey-sweetened licorice or skoolkrijt, a candy-coated minty flavoured licorice. Both of these have tastes and textures that are common in North American licorice, without being too sweet and offer a great starting point for moving up to the advanced salted licorice!

What is advanced licorice you ask? Well, if you ask some of our regular Dutch licorice lovers, they'll tell you nothing is too salty, but for those who have not acquired the taste (and trust us, you will - this stuff is uniquely addictive!), moving up to munten drop, a sweet but stiff licorice might be a good step. Advanced licorice lovers skip the baby steps and go right to the source: D.Z. Rond, a double salted and hard little drop or zwart & witjes, a salted hard licorice with a menthol taste (excellent for sore throats).

For the more adventurous, try really taking advantage of the large selection found at The Candy Store and choose from each jar! Our licorice is sold by weight and is all the same price, so pick up a bag and tongs and make your own little mix - you just might find that yourself going Dutch more often!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sweet Mother's Day Treats

In honour of Mother's Day this Sunday, we'd like to pay tribute to our own mothers and just maybe help you think of a treat for yours! It's no surprise that the staff at The Candy Store love all things candy and chocolate, but did you know that so do our mothers? We each asked our mother to reveal their favourite indulgence from The Candy Store (which, in hindsight, was ill-timed as now all our mothers are all on high-alert, expecting those treats on Sunday. Good thing we're happy to oblige!).

Diane: You’d think the mother of the owner of The Candy Store would have a hard time picking just one favourite! But she knows what she likes. Her number one candy choice is Les Anis des Flavigny. She loves to hear (and tell!) the story behind them—how each little candy takes 14 whole days to make, using old-fashioned techniques. Each one lasts much longer than other mints, and has flavour throughout! She’s always dropping by the store to pick up a tin of them for her purse.

Katie: My mother's favourite is "those malty things - the ones you gave me, remember?" What she was trying to tell me was that she loves the Ultimate Malt Balls. And who could blame her? Four layers of chocolate surrounding a malt center - yes please! Who knows, maybe a package will make it to the post with some of "those malty things" in them for my mother ;)

April: My mother basically raised me on chocolate, so it was no surprise when I asked her what her favourite candy was, she replied: “Anything chocolate!” and after further interrogation, her response turned into “Anything chocolate with coffee or nuts!” That’s why she enjoys it so much when I bring home a sweet little bag of our dark and milk chocolate covered almonds, or the NYC Espresso Mix! Roasted almonds and crunchy espresso beans drenched in creamy milk or rich dark chocolate? That’s definitely her idea of a good snack!

Evie: When I asked my mother what her favourite candy was she replied without hesitation “barley toys!” They are her favourite childhood candy, and anytime she sees them now, she is reminded of the days when she would get barley toys in the toe of her stocking at every Christmas! These succulent sugar candies are a classic seasonal candy from Truro, Nova Scotia, and though my mom is a native Ottawa resident, they still bring back sweet memories for her!

Britt: Every time my Mom comes into the Candy Store, she just has to pick up a few of our malt balls. They are definitely her favourite. She always gets an assortment of whatever flavors we have in stock but I make sure she doubles up on the mint cookie ones. Not only does she like them, but so do I! A bag of these brightly coloured malted milk balls is my Mom’s idea of a perfect hostess gift. I’m so happy my Mom can share my love for these delicious Candy Store treats.

Tessa: When I first asked my mom what her favourite candy was, she responded, “I can’t believe you’re making me choose.” However, after a couple minutes of some hard thinking, she had come to a decision: the licorice all-sorts. She prefers the soft texture, the unique taste, and of course, the fun colours. When snacking on this treat, my mom reflects upon some fond memories of her childhood, a time of penny candies. (Now I know what I’m getting her for mother’s day!)

Andrea: Last August, it was my Mom's birthday. For her gift, I got some of the delicious Belgium Galler chocolate bars that I had sampled once before on a school trip in Europe. A perfect blend of a chocolate shell with a delicious filling… I don’t remember which particular flavours I purchased for her, but I'll never forget the first thing she said right after eating a piece from the first bar, "For Christmas, Easter, my birthday next year, any occasion, please get me more of these. I don't want anything else. Just these!" She came to visit me in Ottawa last year in the fall, and left with at least 2 of the rich bars. And she doesn’t have to worry; she will see many more in future!

Now that we've shared our mother's favourites, what's your mother's weakness? Not sure? Let us help - we have an incredible selection to choose from and can please candy and chocolate lovers alike! We can also help you cover all your bases by putting together a gift that includes something of everything to let your mother indulge in all her sweet whims on her special day. For the moms who have everything and ask for nothing, show them how sweet they are with a gourmet candy selection. It sure beats the plant your brother showed up with (sorry bro!).

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