We’ve been all about Halloween the past few weeks and each year for me that comes with a sense of nostalgia that’s half costumes and spooks, and half pining for my kid’s candy haul. I don’t really even like candy, but I have a Pavlovian response to Halloween that tells me I need to buy it in buckets.
I moved from a small town to the big city in my tween years and very quickly learned there is a significant difference between rural and urban Halloweening. Where I grew up, route planning for candy maximization was a year-round continuous improvement exercise. We’d get our hands on a town map and sketch out the plan to tackle each house without doubling back, with time estimations on when and where the parents should do a drive by to drop off supper and sub out the pillowcases (yes, more than one), so one could keep going long into the night.
Complicating this was the need to time your route around the working schedules of the town folk so you weren’t faced with closed doors and empty houses. You inevitably had to leave from school fully dressed, head downtown first before the businesses closed and then weave your way back through the town, hopefully ending up in front of your house. You went until there were no more houses. It was usually 11 or 12 before your head hit the pillow, and the candy you got would last all year.
When I moved to the big metropolis of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan I was shocked to learn that kids didn’t leave their homes until dark, fully fed and that houses started turning off the lights and shouting “it’s a little late” mere hours into the evening. How could you possibly get a full pillowcase, let alone two in that time? The dream was over. I’d been suddenly thrust into the cruel reality that moving forward, I would need to buy my own candy.
Adulthood helped me see that this was in fact an opportunity to reward myself and upgrade from cheap candy to gourmet. If you’re with me and that sugary siren comes calling this time of year, here are some Saskatchewan candy shops to explore:
1- Dessart Sweets Ice Cream and Candy Store – Regina
A trip there is also often a tour through the candies of the world and the decades. My best finds were a giant Gummy Bear that probably would have lasted all year long if I’d taken him home, dill pickle flavoured gummies and bacon flavoured candies of all kinds.
2- Sweet Treats Candy Company – Moose Jaw
This new addition to Moose Jaw’s happening River Street looks to have all the nostalgic candies I would expect and more. The edible candles and candy grams caught my eye for special occasion ideas but it’s the Habanero Pepper gummies that have captured my curiosity.
3- Candy Connection – Prince Albert, Shellbrook & Saskatoon area
This business promises to deliver your own box of Candy favourites right to you. This would have saved me some miles back in the day.
4- The Shoppe – Saskatoon & Regina
If you are looking for more than just nostalgic candy, this new-to-Saskatchewan business is offering an experience. With gourmet offerings from cookie dough to candy floss, they host themed candy tasting events and will even set up a candy buffet for birthday parties and events.
5- Pine and Fancy Sweet Memories – Saskatoon & Waskesiu Lake
This Saskatoon staple now has three locations across the province to grab your usual and unusual favs. The Fruity Pebbles Bars and Red Velvet Cupcake flavoured Pop Tarts have me intrigued with the idea that candy can be a breakfast food. Pair some of this with that bacon candy from Dessart and I have a balanced meal …right?
I’ve come to realize that while I can usually bank on being offered all the candies the kids don’t want to eat, the bounty simply isn’t what it used to be, and they never give you the good stuff anyway. What I lose in quantity, I can definitely gain in quality. So I say, let the kids keep their candy caramel kisses and rockets, I’ve paid my dues and I’m stocking up on Bonkers and mom-candy instead.
-Nova Alberts is a Marketing Manager on the Brand and Platform team at Directwest
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