With Halloween just days away, we all definitely have candy on the brain. The National Retail Federation expects shoppers to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy. That’s a lot of Snickers. And us Minnesotans will be getting in on the action though our apparent choice of candy leaves me well… a bit underwhelmed to say the least.
According to CandyStore.com, which does an annual report on each state’s favorite Halloween candy based on how much of that candy is purchased, Minnesota’s favorite candy of 2018 is: the Tootsie Pop.
I mean… okay?
Coming in second is Skittles and third is Candy Corn. Not the best. I feel as Minnesotans we need to expand our candy palate. And luckily for us, we have the best resource just a short drive out of the cities in Jordan, Minnesota.
Welcome to Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
This iconic yellow barn got its start 40 years ago as a simple apple barn. However, this larger-than-life candy store has become a tourist destination for candy-lovers from all over the state. Owners Robert Wagner, who can usually be seen wearing his famous red suspenders, and his wife Renee Wagner have created a candy haven selling unique candy, old-fashioned candy, foreign candy, and straight up bizarre I’m-not-sure-I-want-to-eat-that candy.
Some of the crazy candies you’ll find as you wander the aisles are insect candy – chocolate covered crickets, etc. – bacon mints, jelly beans, Cow Tales, Candy Cigarettes, Toxic Waste sour candies, Warheads, Big League Chew Bubble Gum, Pop Rocks, Kinder chocolates, Mentos, Pocky sticks, Red Vines, and so, so many more. And of course, they sell shelf after shelf of modern-day favorites as well.
Candy, however, is just one aspect of the store. Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store also boasts, walls, yes, walls of crazy sodas. Sure, they have your standard delicious variety of root beer brands and other recognizable sodas like Fanta, but they also sell ridiculous flavors such as bacon, pickle, ranch dressing, pumpkin pie, and barf (chunky style). Because of course that’s a thing. And apparently, in a surprising twist, according to the candy store staff, the barf, chunky style soda tastes much better than the ranch dressing flavor.
The Wagners also sell baked goods, apples, fall seasonal produce, puzzles, gift shop items, popcorn, seasonings, sauces, and phenomenal pies. And in addition to their own products, they offer many other items that are made locally by their neighbors in the community.
This year, the Wagner’s went above and beyond: Wagner commissioned eleven artists from all over the country to paint a massive superhero mural that entirely covers one of the ceilings in the barn. It’s simply incredible. The mural is of Gotham City on one side and Minneapolis on another, complete with actual life-size figures of Batman and The Joker. Other superhero figures line the walls such as Spiderman, Iron Man, and Groot. You’ll find Star Wars paraphernalia and be able to step inside the TARDIS from Dr. Who. The kids will also love seeing Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc. along with Minion characters.
With so much packed onto their shelves and with the amazing mural above you, you’ll want to allow an hour or two to peruse and fully take in all the treats they offer, as it’s usually busy and many find their first visit quite overwhelming.
The store operates seasonally and is open Mid-May through November. Be sure to bring cash as they don’t take credit cards – though they do have ATMs on site.
So now that we all know about this amazing gem of a store, hopefully we can come together as Minnesotans and collectively choose a slightly more exotic and delectable candy than the, ah, Tootsie Pop as our state’s favorite treat.
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