“Discount Candy Day!”
Atlantic County Magazine – GACCA Article
Print Date 2.19.2021
By Judy Brenna
The Day after Valentine’s Day has been widely accepted as the alternative to Cupid’s special day, an anti-holiday if you will. If you take to the interwebs you’ll see forums and online communities and Facebook groups dedicated to peacefully protesting the “fake” holiday by celebrating the day after, February 15th, primarily because everything Valentine-themed goes on clearance. And if you know me you know I am a HUGE fan of anything cheap, and if I was permitting sugar in my house right now the pantry would be packed to the seams with heart shaped chocolates. I will never forget my first lucid memory of chocolate. My mother was taking us on a trip to Hershey Park so naturally I assumed the park itself was made out of chocolate. When we checked into the hotel and walked into the hotel room, I went right over to the bed post and proceeded to lick it, which then spurned a long discussion regarding my mental wellness. What do you want from me, I was 4! Needless to say, my love for chocolate has always been on a visceral level.
Every year on February 15th I wake up like it’s Christmas morning. I normally drive to the closest pharmacy, and slowly float through the aisles with giant clearance signs on fuzzy stuffed teddies holding little mylar balloons that read ridiculously kitchy phrases like “I can’t BEAR to be without you” or stuffed honeybees with their signs reading “will you BEE mine” and when I see the reduced prices my heart literally melts like a bon bon. And then when I turn the corner to the vast wall of candy packaged in all varieties of pinks and reds, I involuntarily throw my head back and let out an ear-piercing maniacal laugh. I then proceed to jam my arm to the back of the shelf and walk down the aisle scooping everything into my cart. And this also explains why my Halloween candy packaging is usually heart-shaped and red.
The discounts aren’t necessarily localized to just February 15th, mind you, it’s going on still as I type, until they make enough room for Saint Patrick’s Day themed candy, which shouldn’t even be a thing because that’s not what the holiday is about, but hey this is America, and we’re ridiculous when it comes to marketing schemes.
In Atlantic City we have a handful of candy stores on the boardwalk. I have my favorites. First and foremost, you have James Candy, located at 1519 Boardwalk, and Fralinger’s, located at Bally’s on the boardwalk. You can also find James Candy company stalls in some casino resorts. Back when I worked at the Tropicana at ((shameless #opentowork plug))Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, I often visited the James Candy stall down in the Marketplace, if only just to smell the candy. Yes, the clerk would get nervous. No, I didn’t care.
And of course, there is IT’SUGAR at Caesar’s Pier offering all of your favorite childhood treats. The great thing about IT’SUGAR is they carry fun packaging like the world’s largest gummy worm, which is a whopping 3 lbs.! That’s a lot of worm, folks! If you’re not a candy kind of person, don’t worry, you can chow down on a 2 lbs. package Rice Krispie treat. Another notable shop is Sugar Factory on the boardwalk side of Hard Rock. The absolute great thing (among many) about Sugar Factory is they’re a restaurant and bar too. Famous for their over-the-top milkshake presentations and shareable goblets of alcohol concoctions that are so ultimately cool they’re hot and you can see the steam rise (not literally, there’s dry ice at the bottom), they also have a store front so you can purchase your favorite candies. This place takes the term “feeling like a kid in a candy shop” to a whole new literal level. And this wouldn’t be a candy article if I didn’t mention The Chocolate Box at the Golden Nugget. Gourmet, hand-made chocolates, and truffles, and chocolate-dipped strawberries and pretzels oh my. My mouth is involuntarily filling with saliva just talking about it. Check them out.
But what I really want to focus on, the stores in the surrounding area, in Atlantic County. One place in particular, Jagielky’s, with their catchphrase “the better way to chocolate”, they really do deliver top quality homemade chocolate at affordable rates. Having a legacy of more than 40 years making gourmet candy, enjoyed by candy connoisseurs from Philadelphia to the Jersey Shore, Jagielky’s has two locations, one at 5115 Ventnor Avenue in Ventnor City, and one at 8018 Ventnor Avenue in Margate City. They offer fresh-made treats, and an online store. They even offer packaging for bulk corporation and wedding orders. And they even have fun “survival kits” for the family to pick up and take home, the perfect sweet treat for game or movie night!
Another great place is Gabby’s Lollipops in Brigantine on Atlantic Brigantine Boulevard. Offering everything from hand-crafted sweets to baked goods (their macarons are so yummy) and custom cakes, even decorating supplies and take-home-kits for the amateurs who care to experiment in their kitchens at home, Gabby’s is the perfect off-the-beaten-path place to stop, especially with the kids, and in my humble opinion, the optimal place for one-stop-shopping for your event. Custom themed cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, candy bar, cookies and mini pastries, this place is fantastic. If I was getting married here in NJ I would call Gabby’s in a heartbeat.
And lastly, and apropos, I would like to touch on the subject of diabetes and importance of knowing the risks of a living a life of total gluttony ((hanging head in shame)). Click on this link to read up on the facts: https://diabetes.org
That’s all I got for now. My vision is going blurry from all the chocolate. Until next week… #stayjerseystrong