Nostalgic Candy: From the Good Ole’ Days

When we were kids, going to the candy store was the highlight of our day. It was miles better than a trip to the grocery store where, if we behaved, a tub of ice cream might land in the cart. Getting candy was serious business; it had nothing to do with cartons of milk and loaves of bread. We merged together, went in with a purpose, and came out cheering.

Sweet sugary treats, color coordinated from wall to wall, old-fashioned jars filled to the brim with jelly beans, jujubes and the epic, giant jaw breaker; we’d carry that thing around for days, like a prized gem, wearing it down until the insides of our cheeks were raw, and our tongues practically burnt from the sugar. We loaded up on Pop Rocks, Astro Pops, Popeye and Big League Chew, Lik-M-Aid Fun Dips and my favourite, Fizz candies. We barreled into the shop with nickels, dimes, and pennies (when pennies really could buy something) — anything we could scrounge together. We’d stare, transfixed as each penny-candy, carefully considered, expertly considered rolled into our palms.

Butter Fudge (English Sweets)
Jelly Beans (Oh Sugar)

The English Sweetshop (left) and Oh Sugar (right)

When it comes to the retro sweets, just the sight of an old time classic can evoke memories from our childhood. I’ll bet my last bon bon that you too have a few fond memories from the days of Wagon Wheels (or was it Moon Pies?).

Luckily, many of those classic candies are still available, after all these years. You can still find Cinnamon Bears and Cracker Jacks (online stores stock tons of old fashioned and retro sweets), handmade toffee, and licorice sticks.

Bassetts (English Sweets)

Bassetts (English Sweets)

In Victoria, there are a few shops dedicated to keeping the past alive and the kid in all of us smiling with their authentic candy selections.

Take a trip down memory lane and satisfy that old sweet tooth with a visit to places like Oh Sugar, and The English Sweet shop. One glimpse of your favourite sweets will surely transport you back to the golden days of yesteryear.

Mixed Bon Bons
Kingsway Bon Bons (English Sweets)

Bon Bons at the English Sweet Shop


The English Sweet Shop (est. 1910)


Specializing in authentic English sweets and treats, The English Sweet shop carries some of the oldest handmade and boiled candy brands. Owners Wendy, Lorne, and Tegan Beach have maintained the shop’s original charm. A large selection of old fashioned candy makers can be found including Basset’s (Jelly Babies), Ross’s, and Haribo. A substantial amount of floral and aromatic candies are available, including Floral Gums (aka Soap Candy), Oddfellows, Sarsparilla tablets and drops, and Aniseed Twists. They offer a large selection of fudge and toffee from Walker’s to Tavener’s. From a rainbow assortment of Bon Bons and boiled sweets to an impressive selection of old-time licorices (Dutch and British), your sweet tooth won’t want for more after a visit to this nostalgic confectionery shop.


736 Douglas Street, Victoria B.C.

V8W 3M6

(250) 382-3325

Toll Free: 1-800-848-1533

Candy Cigarettes (Oh Sugar)

Candy Cigarettes (Oh Sugar)

Oh Sugar 

Not only do Rick and Justyna Goodman make their own line of handmade sweets (maple bacon brittle, soft fudge, Scottish oak cakes, and deliciously unique xylitol candies made from birch bark sugar), they carry candy from over forty different countries, and stock over 100 types of licorice and plenty of other nostalgic sweets.

Walking into Oh Sugar is truly a blast from the past. Their selection of retro candies from Cry Babies to Candy Cigarettes will take you back. “But we don’t just carry the retro sweets,” Justyna says, “we have a little something for everyone; from Dutch to German and Polish candies. People come in and think what an awesome store! It’s a real treat to see a candy you recognize from your childhood, no matter where you come from.”


561 Johnson Street, unit 101
Victoria, BC
V8W 1M2
Tel: 778-440-9192


Other locations to find classic, old-fashioned confectionery:


Sweet Delights


Oak Bay Avenue

Victoria, B.C.

V8R 1G1



If you’re interested in leaning about the history of specific candies take a look at this site.


Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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