I don’t mean to send my friends out on bad “Go BIG” assignments. It’s just coincidental that our last two gracious volunteer correspondents got stuck with duds. First, Sandra spent a small fortune on the cheesefest that is Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the world’s largest Christmas theme park. Now, Tom has submitted this report from his visit to the world’s largest candy store. This place, you will note, has been awarded the lowest score in “Go BIG” history. Even though I’m a raging chocoholic, I think even I would have scored it low.
I appreciate Tom’s relative restraint, and the humor he found in the situation. He presents more humorous slice-of-life tales in his blog, and on his new site, Creature Banter. If you’ve ever laughed at the naïve yet absurd utterances from the children in your life, you’ll appreciate his collection.
After a post-holiday week-long trip back to my East Coast roots, we were facing a 14-hour drive to our Indiana home. Connecticut to Indiana. Just typing it makes me shutter.
“We” included me, my love Rachel and her 9-year-old daughter, who informed me prior to our excursion that “long car trips aren’t my thing.”
So we were thrilled to hear that our reward for the 300-mile trek through the state of Pennsylvania was a visit to Daffin’s, which calls itself the world’s largest candy store. The store resides in Sharon, PA, a few miles off Interstate 80. The store’s website boasted of Daffin’s Chocolate Kingdom – including chocolate villages and a 400-pound chocolate turtle. This was not to be missed.
So we were excited to bribe the child with candy, and what would surely be a visit to paradise.
The location was a bit hard to find, as its location was a few miles from the highway, but we were determined to find it, and indulge in some chocolate and candy.
We finally arrived…or did we? Is this the place? Or is this a pharmacy?
Daffin’s certainly didn’t have the appearance of the World’s Largest Candy Store. There was nary a sign of any sort of Kingdom, much less a chocolate one. But we dutifully parked and thought it might be different inside.
With a 9-year-old racing to the front door, we gave it a pull and….my what a nice Hallmark store. Oh wait, there’s an ENTIRE wall of salt water taffy. And this was a pretty long wall. You have to understand, I LOVE salt water taffy, so this was good enough for me. We filled a couple of small paper bags full of taffy with our favorite flavors. The perfect snack for a long car ride home.
It was now time to step foot in Daffin’s Chocolate Kingdom! Oh boy! It’s in the back, I’ll bet it’s going to be huge… We open the door and let’s just say the kingdom wasn’t mighty. The kingdom included a 400-pound chocolate turtle and smaller (but impressively-sized) creatures including an elephant, a frog, and a reindeer. And two nice ladies gave us free sample of Daffin’s chocolate. Which were awesome. So good.
But the kingdom was 5 minutes of “wow, look at that. Here, take a picture” and good-bye.
We did shop the rest of the store and left with not only our taffy, a few pieces of chocolate, but also some gift items. (It really is quite a big Hallmark store.)
As we checked out, I asked the cashier, an elderly woman, “So this is the world’s largest candy store?” “That’s what they say. Based on square footage at least.”
Ah, so more accurately, it might be the store with the largest footprint that offers a good amount of candy (and chocolate animals).
She did give me some Daffin’s trivia. Such as the turtle was made over 40 years ago, and each year gets a new layer of chocolate painted on it, to preserve its appearance. And obviously they have a good set of generators in case of sweltering summer setbacks.
We would not recommend a trip to Daffin’s if you want to check off “World’s Largest Candy Store” because it’s kind of a false claim. (I can suggest an outrageously good candy store in Cape Cod though, if you are interested).
We give Daffin’s a 2 out of 10.
Editor’s Note: Daffin’s is 20,000 square feet. Candylicious, a 10,000 square-foot store which opened in Dubai in 2009, also claims to be the world’s largest candy store.