The Penny Candy Store

When I was a kid we were given a quarter a week for allowance, provided all your chores were done.

Out of this meager sum were were expected to pay 15 cents for the Saturday afternoon matinee, a box of popcorn, and a Kik Cola, the biggest fizziest pop for a nickle. We would line up in front of the candy store glass showcase while the lady sat on a footstool with a small brown paper bag in hand, waiting for us to make decisions. If we only had three cents,we would carefully consider the cost of a maple syrup filled ice cream cone at two cents, then what to buy for the last precious copper. Three for a penny choices were, one fudge square, one green spearmint and one strawberry marshmallow. Or we could get three blackballs and one butterscotch soft center oblong.

Occasionally one of the bigger kids would throw us a nickle. Then we could splurge on a chocolate covered marshmallow broom or our all time favorites, one huge hunk of sponge toffee or peanut brittle.

None of this candy came with any food and drug warning. Several suckers had pointed wooden sticks, everything had wheat or peanuts. It was a miracle any kid made it to puberty. Our dentist of course was thrilled to bits. One licorice taffy could pull out every filling in your head.

We could also barter. A pop bottle,was worth two cents. A big Canada Dry Ginger Ale bottle was worth a nickle. While we couldn't cash in beer bottles ,we were always on the look out for any. My dad and uncles would cash them in and we got a penny back. Everything went into the family coffers.

On St. Patrick's Day my grandparents would receive a box of marzipan shaped chocolate dust covered Irish potatoes from LeFeuvre's Chocolatier on Mount Pleasant. Along with that was usually a bag of humbugs. LeFeuvre's was there when I was a kid in Toronto and still there today.

The Penny Candy Store

Bev Campbell was born and raised in Toronto's Beach neighbourhood. She specializes in pen and ink architecture, historical homes and Toronto collections. She specifically likes to capture Beach scenes of shops and landmarks that are gone or under threat.
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