It wasn't just about the candy. It was the experience!
Were you around during the heyday of penny candy?
If you were, you might remember:
Riding your bike down to the corner store with friends or siblings. That first look at the colorful piles of candy, stacked so high they might as well have touched the ceiling. Trying to sneak a taste when the shop owner wasn't looking!
Your parents gave you a whole dollar, which was enough to fill one of those brown paper lunch bags.
As a kid, it seemed like there were a million sweets to choose from. There were candy buttons (remember those?), tootsie rolls, lollipops, and candy necklaces. And the best part...you could have anything you wanted!
Obviously, things aren't quite the same as they were back then.
But we're trying to keep those childhood memories alive! Many people walk into Life is Sweet––where we still have the same rows and rows of "pick & mix" candy ––and they feel like a kid again. 😊
Want to take a stroll down memory lane? Take a look at the origin story of penny candy!
The History of Penny Candy
The origins of penny candy can be traced back to 1879, when Woolworth's, a "five-and-dime" store in New York, opened its first location. The model of the store was that nothing would cost more than ten cents.
Frank Woolworth decided to place a colorful array of candies near the front of his store––which sold everything from household items to children's toys.
He thought the candy would attract more customers. And he was right!
Nearby stores began adapting his idea. Soon, the penny candy store was born. Why the name "penny candy"? Because most of the candies cost one penny each!
Tootsie Rolls: The First Penny Candy
Do you like Tootsie Rolls?
Well, as it turns out, they were one of the first-ever penny candies!
Around the same time that Woolworth's opened, Leo Hirschfeld invented the Tootsie Roll. He created it as a cheap alternative to traditional chocolate candies, and he began selling them for a penny each.
Ever wondered why they're called Tootsie Rolls? Hirschfeld named the candy after his daughter, whose nickname was Tootsie.
Is Penny Candy Still Available Today?
While you may not find candy that costs a penny these days, most of the candies that you remember from your childhood are still available.
Here are some of our favorites:
And so many more! Click here to browse all of our retro candy.
The Candy Store Experience – At Home!
Want to relive your childhood? We can ship the penny candy store right to your home!
Check out our Old-School Candy Box. It's packed full of your favorite retro treats!
We want to hear your stories! Tell us about your penny candy memories in the comments.