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Why Does This Old Chewing Gum Cause Such A Stir?

cloveblackjackbeemanFinally after a two plus year absence, Adams has released their famous Black Jack, Clove and Beemans gum. I’m shocked that these  Nostalgic chewing gums are still so popular and can still cause such a sticky situation.

The tractor trailer wasn’t even pulled away from our building and the emails and phone calls began. People calling from everywhere wanting pack after pack of these honest to goodness Nostalgic kept chewing gums.

As I began getting them ready to go live on our online candy store, I decided to open a pack of each so maybe I could understand why all the hype from a old chewing gum of the past?

I started off with the Clove gum, and as I began to chew, all the memories came back. I used to enjoy this gum many years ago when I would be sitting at my Grandma’s on a weekend or playing outside with my neighborhood friends. What wonderful memories filled my head.

Next was the Black Jack gum. Wow I began to laugh and remembered not really chewing this gum, but how we would place it over our teeth to make them look rotten lol. I didn’t even need to open the Beemans gum, because for some reason, I could almost feel my stomach settling from the pepsin mint flavors already.

I admire Adams for keeping these different tasting chewing gums not so available and a true Nostalgic treat. Yes, it makes us want them more, but…  it also can cause a not so sweet situation!

The last time Adams made these available was over 2 years ago . Most wholesalers were give x amount  of time to order. Some were lucky and got all they wanted, while others didn’t realise the popularity and didn’t order in enough. At Blair Candy we were lucky enough to get all we ordered, plus were ready for the storm 2 years ago, just like we are now!

 We’re hopping this time around another sticky situation doesn’t happen and all  the sudden a $10.00  box of 20 packs will start showing up on various so called discounted websites for $21.00 a box or higher.

All of us here don’t think there is anything Nostalgic or discounted about that!  I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again, for fear Adams may just keep these sweet goodies away even longer if not forever!

For now there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. I hope when you put a stick of your favorite in your mouth, you find the same wonderful memories inside that I did!

Eddie The “Clark Bar” Haskell

eddie2It’s hard to believe that a name like  Eddie Haskell would still be referenced to almost daily in everyone’s lives!

The other day I was searching the Internet for some Nostalgic Candy pictures to hang on my newly painted office walls and came across some pictures of Eddie Haskell. I giggled when I saw them, and actually stopped looking for candy pictures and began reading though stories of him and the Cleaver family.

What a guy huh?  He’s still famous and a household name after all these years,  just like some of the candy we sell. Even my sons know what I mean when I say something in reference to an Eddie Haskell.  I sat there thinking just how this name signaled some memories in almost everyone in one way or another, almost like a Candy Bar or a Rootbeer Barrel! I’m sure many of you have had your own reference to good old Eddie  lol.

 The great Eddie Haskell name really needs no explanation to most, and not even to the younger generation because I’m sure their parents have called them or one of their friends  Eddie Haskell and then explained just who Eddie was lol.

I really began to think this through while sitting at my desk. Hmmm do we have any Eddie’s in our building?  Does our company  Blair Candy and BlairCandy.com as a whole operate with the Eddie trickery?  I really couldn’t think of anyone while working for our company that plays the Eddie rule. Our company is  what it is. We are more like the Cleavers here lol. We don’t pretend to have free shipping  and hide it in the price of the product to brown nose the customer. We really have a real candy warehouse and candy outlet store full of thousands of candy products and we really don’t schmooze our customers into pretending to have good customer service or quality products.

Nope, no Haskell’s here, just a family owned and operated real wholesale candy distributor for over 70 years!  Heck we’ve been in the candy business longer than all the Eddie Haskell’s have been  in character!  The only comparison I could  find in our company to an Eddie Haskell, was his middle name was Clark, just like the Clark Bars we sell lol!

Thanks To The Recession, There’s a New Candy Theme In Those Baskets!

Nostalgic Easter Candy Treats
As I read the newspapers, scan the Internet and watch TV, one would think the anger and fear from the economic nightmare  would start to  affect our customers too, but the candy buying customers we have  are still showing their sugary smiles and sweet tones.
At first, I thought the spike in our candy sales was coming from the up and coming arrival of the Easter Bunny, but after reviewing what was selling I noticed it was all of our candy selections, not just our Easter Candy treats , that were  flying off our shelves.
Let’s face it, candy  is comforting and lifts spirits. It costs a heck of a lot less and  is more easily accessible than going to the doctor and getting something for the same results.  In trying times, people  tend to think back to the easier ,  less stressful days .  What better thoughts  are there than your childhood days of buying a bag full of candy for a quarter and running down the street with your best friends.
To say remembering those days has helped candy stay recession-proof, I’d be going out on a limb, but when you look at the past and think back to the Great Depression, The Candy Companies stayed in business and kept people happy, just like today!
Yes the good old Necco Wafers, Hershey Bars, Nestle’s  and Tootsie Rolls were   helping people cope back then and are still today.
I think what isn’t recession-proof in my line of  business is the high end candies. I just read the other day that Lindt Candy Company was closing  tons of their stores, but yet all the other companies making the cheaper chocolates and the old fashioned candies are booming. It was also reported  that gummi candy and gum sales this quarter have risen double digits.

My theory is even getting stronger as I watch our  lower priced Easter candy fly off the shelves and the more expensive brands  sit waiting for me to run a special or put them on sale. I wonder why Lindt  didn’t see this happening and lower their prices to fit the hard economic times? Maybe because they weren’t around in the  Great  Depression, so they really don’t know how to market their products?
Regardless of any of those who seem to be clueless, our candy strategy is working. We are very fortunate to be in business since 1939; that’s seventy years of weathering both good and bad times so we know how to adapt. We carry candy from every manufacturer and do understand people’s wants and needs. I guess that comes from being family owned and operated all these years.
This Easter Candy season I think will be one for the record books, not just in candy sales figures, but in what’s popular in those baskets. Yes you’re  going to see the good old fashioned  standby  jelly beans, marshmallow peeps,  hollow chocolate bunnies and coconut cream eggs, but from the looks of it,  you’re going to see the good old daily Nostalgic candy treats like Tootsie Rolls, Necco Wafers and Bit o Honey’s making their way back in.
Candy is an old fashioned  comfort food and I think we all could use a little of those sweet memories from the days before banks collapsed and government bailouts, so I think now is a good time to buy a bigger basket and reward yourself and others  with a good old fashioned  sweet treat!

First Rachael Ray, Then Guy Fieri, Wonder Who’s Next?

I thought selling Candy to Rachael Ray for her magazine article about Super Bowl Parties was exciting, but this past week while I was away on my annual vacation to Florida I ran into Guy Fieri, from the Food Networks Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesNow that is what I call exciting!

I was heading to one of my favorite restaurants down at the beach, in Deerfield Beach Florida called The Whales Rib. I was starving and like always in a hurry. I marched through the parking lot not even noticing the sign that said “filming inside” lol, opened their doors, and was greeted with bright cameras filming away. Needless to say I shut that door as fast as I opened it and walked to the Pizza shop across the street.

As I sat there staring out the window while eating my coal oven pizza wishing I had the lobster salad from the Whales Rib, I spotted a guy with spiked up white hair that looked to me like the guy from the Food Network show I  watch. The closer he got to the window, the more I knew it was him. I could hardly eat my pizza and couldn’t wait to run out the door.

Yep, it was him. I was so excited I couldn’t remember how to take a picture with my cell phone lol. Finally I settled down, snapped a few shots and followed him back up to the parking lot that just 15 minutes prior I ran from. Low and behold it was him inside my favorite restaurant filming a segment for his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I stood there watching him get into his famous car and begin filming now on the outside of the restaurant. Talk about the perfect opportunity to invite him to our Sweet Candy Store, but like most anything else I seem to do, I didn’t have one piece of candy of any kind on me, or even a business card to hand to him to spike his interest ugh.

To some of you, you might find it strange why I would even think that he would come to our candy outlet store, when all he goes to is restaurant type places, but if you’ve ever been to Blair Candy, you would understand why I think he would fit right in. Not because we’ve had some employees with the same type of hair he has, but because we have thousands of candies to buy, from every manufacturer and timeline. I think he would be as shocked as a lot of our visitors that walk in  and are greeted with aisle after aisle of every kind of candy you can think of. Nostalgic Candy, Novelty Candy,  Bubble Gum and lots of Breath Mints he could use after eating all those different foods. He might be surprised of all the  gummi candy shaped like some of the food he eats stacked to the ceiling too!  Heck why not Guy Fieri visiting us?  Some people do make a meal out of all these sweet treats we sell lol.

Now if I could only run into Bobby Flay! It would be interesting doing one of those Throw Down shows with him and challenge him to a cooking with candy event!

Our Cheer on The Pittsburgh Steelers Day

 

 

It’s no secret when you walk into our building; You are entering not only the sweetest building in the world, but it’s Pittsburgh Steeler country as well. Today a bunch of our sweet employees came dressed for the occasion. Black and Gold everywhere and Steeler fight songs playing on radios through out the building. Actually, the only thing missing football,  was our chocolate footballs lol. We shipped soooo many of those chocolate sports treats to our customers for their own  Super Bowl Parties, we had none left for our own employees.

Go figure, we normally have case after case, but because there are so many Steelers fans across the USA, they came from everywhere and found our online candy store and were buying them cases at a time. How sweet of the manufacturer to tell us our new shipment would be here 2 days after the big party ugh.

Some of our customers didn’t mind the wait, they didn’t really need them for the big game, but for a sports themed party and can wait till they arrive. Others, begged, pleaded and called a lot, but nothing we could do. We’ve now been telling them to cheer even louder, because when they win Super Bowl 43, there will be a lot of post Super Bowl parties going on across the USA and we will be able to send the chocolate footballs to them.

So for now, our own employees will have to survive the big game with out the chocolate footballs and maybe reach for some other kind of sweet candy treat we sell. hmmm wonder how chocolate basketballs would look sitting in the plastic football on my table lol

Thank Goodness For The Old Fashion Cough Drops!

Remember the good old fashion great tasting cheap cough drops like Smith Brothers, Ludens, Vicks and Pine Brothers? Thank goodness, all but the Pine Brothers are still made today! The new cough drops or throat lozengers of today, just don’t taste the same or as good and I don’t feel do anymore than the retro ones.

I myself was a fan of the Smith Brothers cherry cough drops and still am. They still taste more like candy than they did a medicine that could stop my cough or sooth my burning throat. I’d pop 2 or 3 of the cherry flavored ones at a time, but never the black licorice ones. I’m not a big fan of  black licorice anything.

I could spot those two Smith Brothers on the front of that white box and still remember trying to open the waxed paper type sleeve that lined the box and be quiet  so my mom or my teachers didn’t hear me digging for another. Now I’m no longer in school or living with with mom and dad, so I can rattle that package as much as I want, plus eat the whole box too!

One very interesting thing about these cough drops I learned later in life. They kept the 2 brothers faces on the box so everyone would recognize the product and not try and copy them. Also, next time you see a box, take a look under both brothers picture. One states the word trade, the other say mark. Very clever way to let the public know their product is trademarked lol.

My next favorite was Vicks cherry flavored cough drops and even sometimes when the coughing was out of control, I’d step it up a notch and go for the Vicks mentol.  I remember their triangle shape and how my tongue would always seem to trace that triangle when they were in my mouth. These are also still available today and they are still the same recipe and packaged the same way.

Ludens cough drops are also still being made and still popular especially their honey licorice cough drop flavor. The only Nostalgic cough drop gone is the Pine brothers cough drops. Now these were different. They were an odd shape and a odd texture for back then. Kind of oval and a gummi but not gummi feel. I actually liked these things, but I do remember a funny after taste. These ones were a little different, you either loved them or hated them.

My favorite memories of all of these was the fact that when I was in school, candy was a no no in class, but these were not really a Wrapped Hard Candy, so all it took was a note from mom or dad, and you could eat as many as you wanted while class was going on. Do any really stop my cough, well for me they do, but so will and hard candy you have swirling around you mouth creating saliva. Some doctors will disagree and tell you they don’t really stop the cough, they just help us put up with it. I’ll use my own judgement and keep popping these great tasting cough drops. Sure beats the flavor of the new ones out there today, Yuk!

Whether they medically stop my cough or not, I actually think the ones from my childhood  work better than all the new fangled cough drops they’ve come out with. Most of those have zinc or some other hightech ingredient in them that claim to stop the cough or dry throat, but for me, the only difference I see is the cost and flavors. I’ll take the good old bargain priced cough drops of yesterday and save the extra money in case I need to get an antibiotic. lol

Our Top 10 Best Selling Candy Items Of 2008. Did Your Favorite Rate?

I love this time of year! It’s time to let our candy computer generate a best selling candy report for me. Here is our list of our top ten best selling online candies of 2008.

10. Satellite Wafers -  Otherwise known as flying saucers, stale candy with beads, or communion hosts filled with sugar beads.

9.  Chocolate Tootsie Pops – This was a limited edition Tootsie Roll brought out. Limited edition? Are they nuts??? Even Weight Watchers endorsed these low calorie tasty treats and we couldn’t keep them in stock.

8.  Caramel Apple Lollipops -  Yeah another winner for Tootsie Roll. A delicious apple tasting lollipop dipped in caramel.

7.  Sugar Free Tootsie Pop Mini Lollipops – Yep this company sure is on a tootsie “ roll!”

6.  Dubble Bubble Sugarless Bubble Gum – and to think it use to be Bazooka

5.  Bob’s Soft Peppermint Sticks -  These Nostalgic candy  treats are a favorite all year long. Some people dip them in chocolate and others in lemonade!

4. Candy Cigarettes - I’m sure that was a shocker to a lot of people, not us though, they held the number one spot for a lot of years!

3. Penny Candy Taffy Chews  – Ahh we can thank all the parade goers for this #3 cheap candy favorite of the year!

2. Chocolate Golf Balls – We are avid sports fans here and carry a huge selection of sports candy treats. Chocolate golf balls took first place in the sports division this year beating out, chocolate footballs, basketballs, and soccer balls

And finally our #1 best selling candy of 2008 is… Tootsie Frooties Tootsie Rolls by Tootsie Roll Inc. We sold almost 38 thousand 360 count bags of these tasty treats. That’s over 13 MILLION Tootsie Frootie Tootsie  Rolls!

So, anyone care to guess what next years winning top ten will be?  I’m not sure on all 10, but I think I’ll put my money on the Nostalgic Gum,  Beemans, Clove or Black Jack Gum. We got notice last month from the manufacturer they are finally bringing them back out after a 2 year absence in production.

Even if  your favorite didn’t make our top 10 this year, We appreciate your business and wish everyone a Happy Healthy New Year!

If You Give Them Free Candy, They Will Come!

                                              

Actor Kevin Costner was popular for his role in the movie Field of Dreams, perhaps known most for it’s famous tagline, “If you build it, they will come.”  At Blair Candy, we enjoyed our own sweet success with our own concoction of that line:  “If you give them free candy, they will come, too!”

Our big event wasn’t a look back at famous baseball players– our main event was the start of the Holiday shopping season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  No, we didn’t have Shoeless Joe Jackson or Archie Graham walking out of a cornfield, but all Black Friday weekend, we did have our hard working employees walking in and out of our warehouse doors. Plus, our shipping company, UPS, pitched in and gave a hand as well, just so our customers could enjoy a little old fashioned candy game of speedy great customer service– our team’s trademark for the 70-plus years we’ve been in the candy business! 

The cheering in our stands erupted from the free candy we gave away those days to all of our previous customers, and even many new ones that found out about the promotion through our Advertising work done by Solid Cactus.  All our customers had to do was place any candy order that crucial holiday shopping week and we’d take 10% off their order, plus throw in some free candyto help fill their stockings. It was a homerun! 

The first group up to bat got a free box of the new Jr. Mints Peppermint crunch candies; the second group got a free Hershey’s Milk Chocolate large holiday bar, and the third got a free box of Cowtails.  These free candy items might not be what you usually order when you sit down to enjoy a live baseball game, but they sure did make the holidays a little sweeter on the wallets of over a thousand of our customers!

 

With all the excitement this free offer generated, it of course also generated a lot of work from our employees and our shipping company, UPS. Not only did UPS pitch in and help with the excessive amount of packages to be shipped across the nation, but our dedicated employees stepped up to the plate as well. We might not have had Kevin Costner lending a hand to make this all happen, but we did have our company vice president, Terry, pull himself away from his computer and speadsheets to pitch in and help get us to the 9th inning.   

This was the first time ever I had to make a S.O.S call to our UPS rep, Steve, on a weekend. I explained to him that first thing Monday morning, we needed a BIG empty brown truck.  Without a hitch, first thing Cyber Monday morning, UPS was parked in our warehouse parking lot ready to take away all of the orders.  But Steve didn’t just send a big truck, the normal UPS brown trucks most of you see, but a bigger model.  As in TRACTOR-TRAILER.   It may be hard for a lot of you to understand the kind of space all these different sizes of packed-up candy can take, but let me just say, they all would have covered that entire baseball field of dreams, way out there in Iowa!

 

A special thank you to UPS and their team, who helped us out, plus our own employees, too, who gave up their holiday weekend away from family and friends to work from dawn to dusk so our customers would be happy! Also a special thank you to all of our customers for continuously choosing us. We appreciate all the business and effort everyone gave.          

Now that’s what I call a winning team! 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone text Obama, we need to bribe the kids again!

With all the hype and excitement on the new super charged America coming soon, due to the election of the new President-elect, tech savvy Barack Obama, I thought it was a good time to share a little experience I had this week.

I had the opportunity to go speak at a local grade school  and explain to the 4th and 5th graders how at this stage (age) in my life, I’m still using my basic  grade school fundamentals, reading , writing and arithmetic to operate my online candy store.

I walked in armed and ready for this group of 9 and 10 year olds.  I had gummi burgers in one hand, lollipops in the other and chocolates under my coat.  They were ready for me as well with their Apple wireless laptops waiting for me to tell them they could boot them up. Oh let me add, every single one of these grade school students knew how to operate and maneuver around with them.

I began with how important spelling and reading is and without them I wouldn’t be able to communicate to my customers nor would they be able to  communicate to the world or play or shop online. Then I touched on the old basic Math skills, add, subtract and divide and how I use them everyday to price my items so I make some money. I stressed they need math skills because they have to make sure they have enough money to buy things like my candy. When I got to the old geography lesson and how it’s important for me to know about each state’s history, including their weather and time zone difference… I could hear and see I was loosing them.

They were more interested in exploring my silly fun website with boatloads of their favorite candy staring at them. Matter a fact one young girl spoke out and asked me if I had games to play on my website. Ugh…

So, I had to put on my teachers hat, raise my voice a tad and flat out say, “if you don’t pay attention, you won’t get any of the candy I brought”, Poof… it worked like a charm! Dead silent, eyes front and center and the hands began to raise.  Ahh was nice to know the good old bribe still works!

All the sudden every student had a ton of questions and suggestions for me.  It was almost like they felt the more they asked and listened,  the more candy they would get. The candy I brought was brought with a lesson in mind, not just enjoyment. I brought dum dum lollipops and told them they needed to pay attention in school so they wouldn’t be a dum dum and maybe someday they could have their very own website. I brought along my favorite candy the marshmallow ice cream cone  and explained to them when I was in 4th grade, they were my favorites. Then I jumped up to their era and showed them the  mini gummi burgers that are the big thing now to them. I took it a step further and  really sealed the deal by bringing  chocolate Hershey’s Kisses for the teachers, because I knew the teachers loved chocolate. The kids got a real chuckle out of that.

It was a really fun afternoon for me, even though I sorta had to bribe them. Driving back to my office it made me think about something I read awhile ago. It seems a lot of school districts have now banned candy as a reward for their students. Teachers in a lot of areas are not allowed to reward with candy. I feel these administrator’s that came up with this lame idea have never seen in action the attention kids can give, all for a sweet treat! Maybe if we brought back the old fashion ways of teaching even if it includes a sweet reward, we’d see a lot more class room participation and many more Steve Jobs types and not just everyone wanting to be video game designer. Now all I need to do is somehow figure out how to text message President-elect Barack Obama and let him in on my observation. I bet the kids could figure out how to. lol

Pimping Your House This Season?

What better time of year than to pimp your house for the Holiday season. Not only do most of us decorate a tree or the outside of our homes, but many still do what I did years ago as a kid. We built gingerbread houses with our moms or grandmothers. Back when I did it, there wasn’t that much creative thinking that went into them as there is now.  Oh we’d put the typical red and white swirled starlite mints or a few chocolate stars here and there, and a few M&M’s and gum drops, but times have changed. People now have taken this nostalgic Christmas tradition to new heights and turned it also into contests.

We have many people from big and small corporate offices calling and wanting to buy some pretty cool candy items to help Pimp Out Their Houses. We have church groups and school teachers calling as well. It seems now,  the bigger the better and the sweeter looking they are the more attention they get.

Customers have some pretty cool ideas. They are using spearmint green leaves for trees, and bubble gum balls for decorations, some even have gone as far as using red licorice for shingles on the roof and those red colored french burnt peanuts to resemble a brick sidewalk. The school teachers are into the gum drops, marshmallow peep trees and different colors of tootsie roll frooties to bring their houses alive.

I guess it all boils down to just how sweet looking you want yours to be!

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