Who loves candy and Chicago Mix? September 18th 2015
We met with Brandon and he told us the unique story of Candyland and a little bit about himself. Brandon is instrumental to the business and has worked for the stores for 16 years. The owners, Doug and Brenda are Brandon's parents. What makes this business unique is all four of their kids work for the store including relatives!
Brandon was very eager to work at such a young age or maybe it had something to do with being around delicious treats? He used to fill out fake job applications and give them to his parents when he was only 10-years-old. He was so anxious to work at the store. His wish did come true and currently he is the owner of the Stillwater store, which has been opened for about 3 years. He works occasional shifts at the other locations. A few of his hobbies are snowboarding, bicycling and spending time with his family. He definitely is a proud family man!
Candyland has some interesting history that goes all the way back to 1932, when it was established. The original name was Flavo Korn and first store was on Wabasha Street, St Paul. In 1938 Arnie Kelsy was the owner, originally from a farm on Iowa growing popcorn. Arvin was the second owner for a short period. The two men ended up going to war and their wives ran the shop while they were gone. When they came back Arvin had a change of heart, Arnie had bought the store for $1.
1950 came along and Arnie added an extensive line of candies along with changing the business name to Candyland. During this time there were many theaters within St. Paul, and there was a big opportunity with popcorn and candy.
In 1981 Arnie sold the business to Brandon's parents, who were 21 and 19-years-old at the time. In 1983 they expanded to Minneapolis. 1988 was a legendary year, Brenda and Doug created the Chicago Mix® and in 1992 it officially became trademarked. The mix has been a favorite not only in the midwest, but throughout the United States. The recipe has never changed and remains the same to this day. In 1990 a Mall of America store opened, which was open for 13 years of business. It eventually closed due to new ownership at the mall.
They've been serving customers for 83 years in a "mom and pop" atmosphere. When you visit Candyland you travel back in time, to a place where life was simple and sweet.
Brandon's favorite candies:
- This That Bar
covered in chocolate with peanut butter, white chocolate, peanuts and caramel
- Victorian Brittle hand-made toffee brittle made with fresh almonds, covered with chocolate and topped with almonds.
- Chippos chocolate dipped potato chips
- Chicago Mix® the combination of traditional seasoned popcorn mixed with caramel and cheddar
- Flavocrunch a sweet butter-toffee glaze mixed with almonds cashews and pecans, stirred with large kernels of popcorn otherwise known as a "man's popcorn"
Some of Candyland's best sellers are Chippos, Pecan Snappers and Chicago Mix®. Be sure to visit one of their 4 locations at Stillwater, downtown St. Paul, downtown Minneapolis off 8th St, or downtown Minneapolis off 7th St. Be sure to visit their website for additional information!
April Showers Bring May Flowers April 07th 2015
We're a few days into April and we've already seen a bit of rain in Minnesota. This goes right along with the saying, "April Showers Bring May Flowers". It makes us wonder if you're like us and are going to plant flowers this spring. Since we're beginners we looked up the easiest plants to grow this spring. According to Thompson-Morgan.com the top 10 easy to grow flower plants and seeds include:
Nigella (Love in A Mist)
Eschscholzia (Calfornian Poppy)
Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)
Which ones are you going to plant?
What to Expect When Taking a Walking Food Tour March 16th 2015
At Taste Twin Cities we offer a couple different walking tours. Our two most common ones are seasonal. The winter tour is the Downtown Minneapolis Skyway Food Tour and the summer tour is our popular, Minneapolis Riverwalk Tour. As a newbie to the cities or to walking tours, we understand that taking a walking food tour is a first for many. When preparing to go on one for the first time, a number of questions may come up. We'll hopefully answer most of them in this blog for you. See some of the popular questions with answers below:
- Will I get my workout in for the day? No, not likely. The walk is a leisurely stroll while your tour guide provides you with history and fun facts about the surrounding area. You're on your feet a total of 20-30 minutes with stops along the way for sitting and eating.
- What kind of shoes do I wear? Comfortable ones. We feel like this one is obvious but for females there are so many options; tennis shoes, flats, sandals, boots, comfortable heels, etc. You do not have to wear the not as cute ultra-comfortable tennis shoes but we do suggest a pair of shoes that are worn in. Ones that you know can go for a 10-20 minute walk in. I suggest flats, sandals or boots if you're still looking to stay semi-stylish.
- What should I wear? This depends on the weather and if the tour is indoors or outdoors. Dress for the weather if you're outdoors. The walk will not warm you up too much so do not wear less because it's SUPPOSED to get warmer. We suggest wearing layers. You can always take off a jacket if you're too hot. As for the indoor tour, a light jacket is perfect. There is a chance that you'll get a little warm when walking around indoors. A heavy winter jacket may cause you to become hot.
- What should I bring? Guys bring your wallet, ladies, a small purse with your wallet, and both or you, bring your ID. A big purse will likely become heavy and harm your shoulder and posture. On our tours all food is included in the original price but if you want a cocktail or soda you'll need your wallet and ID to pay for that.