As much as I love Snickers, Sour Patch Kids and other Halloween candy, sometimes I want to relive the childhood moments I spent with my grandma at the local candy store picking out treats. (For us, it was the long-since-closed Delhi location of Supreme Nut & Candy.)
You just can't replicate the nostalgia evoked by old-fashioned candy stores, and Cincinnati has a lot of great ones. Here are my top nine favorites.
Fawn Candy: Suzanne’s Creams -- also known as Kentucky-style creamed pulled candy -- are sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth confections. Fawn Candy is known for them, in addition to its truffles, candy apples and other treats that are (mostly) made in house. Though it has multiple Halloween treats, Fawn is even more widely known for its candy eggs around Easter. 4271 Harrison Ave., Cheviot; 2692 Madison Road, Norwood. www.fawncandy.com
OTR Candy Bar: It's a dazzling, pastel-colored shop right on Elm Street across from the entrance to Findlay Market. If you squint, you could imagine having been there 50 years ago. OTR Candy Bar features a variety of candies, glass bottle sodas and even soda floats. It also has pre-made candy gifts (all of them themed), or employees will help you assemble a basket that's perfect for your loved one. (Or you could just take it home to enjoy yourself -- that's OK, too.) 1735 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. www.otrcandybar.com
Jenco Brothers: Bulk candy is the name of the game at Jenco Brothers. It specializes in the best bulk candy: Albanese gummies, Jelly Belly jelly beans, single-color M&Ms (perfect for weddings) and popcorn tins featuring a variety of flavors, including Grippo's Bar-B-Q and bacon caramel. This store is the perfect place to get gifts or candy to go along with your special occasion’s color scheme. 224 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights. www.jencobrotherscandy.com
Peter Minges & Son: Cincinnati's oldest candy store is Peter Minges & Son, which still has an old-fashioned candy counter, flavored syrups (for slushies, of course) and bulk candy such as Pixy Stix, Tootsie Rolls, Bulls-Eyes and Swedish fish. Staffers are happy to sell you a sack of candy to refill your office candy dish, as well as put together a gift. 138 W. Court St. 513-241-7376
Auel's Fine Chocolates: Expect handmade chocolates tucked away on Main Street in Milford. Auel's makes all of its chocolates by hand, from salted caramel to opera cream and everything in between. Don't forget the local favorite turtles (pecans and caramel) and marshmallow squares. 317 Main St., Milford. auelsfinechocolates.com
Murray Bros.: This store may not look like much, but Murray Bros. is lined with boxes of your childhood favorites: candy buttons, gummy bears, BB Bats and Marpro marshmallow cones -- which are still handmade! Surrey Square, 4444 Montgomery Road, Norwood. 513-531-3816
Supreme Nut & Candy: This was my childhood favorite, with tables of confections ranging from chocolate-covered peanuts to incredible bridge mix to the crazy-sour candies today's kids love. You also can get jelly beans, truffles and other standard candies, as well as various mixed nuts. Multiple locations.
Doscher's Candies: Doscher's French Chews are regionally popular and have gained national recognition as well. When I was a kid, the cornstarch-coated taffy treats made me think I would pull a tooth out (I never did) but they were irresistible. Doscher's has a storefront where you can get all of your favorite French Chew flavors (strawberry or banana, please) and now French Chew minis, which are just enough for a sweet treat without committing to a whole bar. The minis also come in fun flavors such as sea salt caramel and cappuccino to appeal to modern tastes. 24 W. Court St., Downtown. www.doscherscandies.com
Schneider's Sweet Shop: Since 1939, Schneider's has delivered sweet treats to the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. It’s famous for Opera Creams, chocolate-covered cherries, Pecan Caramelettes, Kentucky pulled cream candy, fudge and even sugar-free treats, all homemade. You also can get an ice ball -- shaved ice and Schneider’s homemade ice cream combined with shaved ice flavoring. This store doesn't look like it has changed much since the '30s; it still bears old-fashioned signage and offers classic flavors like "nectar" (vanilla-almond and bright pink food coloring). 420 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue. schneiderscandies.com
What is your favorite sweet treat for Halloween? Tweet me at @winemedineme.