Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

What-to-Avoid Wednesday / Daffin’s Candy Store

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.

daffins candy store

Looks nice enough from the outside...

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.

His report:

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.

Daffins Candy Store

They would need a higher fence to keep me from all that chocolate!

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.

Daffins chocolate

There's drool on my keyboard.

17 comments

  1. Fiona said,
    February 23, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    I can not believe they would mess with chocoholics minds like that! I applaud Tom on his restraint, I probably would have gone straight to the governors home.

    • Becky said,
      March 27, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

      Tom doesn’t understand small town pop places. I grew up in the area, and I went to Daffins when it was just a kid. Never forgetting picking out a few pieces to try. A family ran chocolate store, was my favorite place to go for chocolate then and now. I have been all across the States, visited very unique chocolate stores, but the taste of the candy has never measured up to Daffins. Every trip I make back home, I never leave without returning with the finest chocolate I have every tasted!! Believe me, Im a huge chocolate freak! All my friends I have shared chocolate with, count on me bringing back great chocolate. Maybe faxtory is misleading to some, but I go for pure enjoyment of chocolate!!!! That is definately not misleading. So, if you love chocolate, I wouldn’t pass it up if going through that way!!! Becky

      • Traci Suppa said,
        April 3, 2013 @ 9:35 am

        Thanks for your comment, Becky! Yes, there’s a lot to be said for family-operated businesses which focus on quality!

  2. cybele said,
    February 23, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    Wow, harsh. I didn’t care for the chocolate kingdom, but the selection of candy and the prices were great. They sell both their chocolate treats made by them and all sorts of other candies. My guess is that the lack of flash (looking like a card shop) is what helps them keep the prices more like a grocery store and less like Dylan’s Candy Bar (where stuff costs 4x as much).The factory tour is also notable (in nearby Farrell), but probably not flashy enough for this crowd.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      February 23, 2011 @ 10:48 am

      Oh, but we LOVE chocolate, especially in large, inexpensive quantities! And to be fair, Tom visited in the middle of a long, exhausting road trip…following a snow storm!

      • cybele said,
        February 23, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

        What you’re saying makes sense as a qualifier, but doesn’t match the 2 out of 10 rating and “What to Avoid” title. But I guess the reason that your team visited wouldn’t be for the same reason I would go … candy.

        Yes, avoid the kitchy and dubious chocolate kingdom in the back … but if you’re planning a wedding and need Jordan Almonds for 100 guests and only have $25 or you have a kid’s birthday party to get favors for you’re gonna want to make this your first stop and bring the kids. As a parent (well, I’m not, but as an aunt) this is a great opportunity to browse the aisle with a child and talk about what kind of candy they like and why and what kind you ate at their age (chances are they have it there).

  3. Rachel said,
    February 23, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    Though I agree with Tom’s overall view on this stop there are a few things he forgot to take into consideration.

    The 9 yr old, for the rest of her life, will be able to say that she’s been to the “world’s largest candy store.” Bragging rights in this house mean a lot and since her brother did not join us for this particular trip she’s got them!

    It was also a fun, unnecessary, make vacation last a little bit longer kind of stop. One of those things that as a kid make your vacations even more memorable. So maybe it was silly. Maybe it didn’t live up to it’s name. Maybe we bought ‘gifts” and candy we didn’t need. It also created for us a great memory, a “remember when we” moment that we will have for the rest of our lives.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      February 23, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

      Thanks for making that point, Rachel! Often it doesn’t matter where we go…as long as the kids enjoy it and create memories from it, then that’s more than enough!

      • Rachel said,
        February 23, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

        What’s our next assignment Traci?

  4. wendyvee said,
    February 23, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Sharon has quite a few “largest” businesses … it’s their thing. I don’t begrudge them because it’s a fun little town. I have a few Sharon-area things to post soon :)

  5. eb said,
    February 24, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    I bet that Candylicious is pretty darn awesome and totally full of candy. We’ve got a Canylicious here in Houston. It’s small, but it’s wall to wall candy. I’d like to know the good candy store in Cape Cod, though Daffin’s sounds like a pretty good candy store even though it’s a ‘big’ disappointment.

  6. Tony said,
    October 2, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

    we travlel from the mid west to the east coast a few times a year and have wanted to stop at daffins but cant seem to find them. the last trip a big sign on I-80- said Daffins this exit at the exit we drove for several miles to the end of the road actually into downtown Sharron, with no luck. main reason is I can envision me and the kids just gorging ourselves with the free samples they boast to pass out. However that salt water taffy wall sounds very promising. our next trip east is comming up and a stop is (has) going to happen. Maybe I need to pick up a GPS system .

  7. I DID enjoy a private tour, (I'm a Daffin), but not related, they say?!? Also buy via Mail from time-to-time (Dry-Iceed in Summer) From Dana R. Daffin 8-25-12 3:20AM said,
    August 25, 2012 @ 3:27 am

    Dana R. Daffin: “My wife, the late Pamela, & I, DID enjoy the kitchen Tour;
    We also purchase Daffins Chocolates occasionally…this Xmas, maybe?!?
    Dana R. Daffin danadaffin60@gmail.com 3:26AM

  8. Jerenne said,
    December 12, 2012 @ 12:08 am

    Ouch! You are treading on very tender ground here as you obliterate a cherished tradition of an exquisite chocolate delicacy! Daffins makes the BEST chocolate in the business. I tell people who claim I am a chocoholic “No…I am a DAFFINS-o-holic!!” There’s nothing like it. You don’t go to Daffins for the curb appeal, the chocolate kingdom or the Hallmark nick knacks…(or even the salt water taffy!!!???) you go to Daffins (or if, like me, you aren’t fortunate enough to live close by – you order it faithfully on line!!) for the MELTAWAYS!!! Don’t touch a review of Daffins if you did not taste each flavor of Meltaways! They are like nothing else! The assorted creams are second to none!! I don’t know how they do it – but Daffins never ceases to satisfy every member of our family who absolutely can’t call it Christmas without our 50+ year tradition of Daffins. Daffins…don’t feel bad about this awful review…it’s obvious it wasn’t chocolate they came to review but a Chocolate Fantasy Walk Through akin to Kraynacks! You don’t need their positive review…you have enough faithful customers who return time after time after time to satisfy their sweet tooth…and satisfy it you do!!! : ) Love you! (and about to place my very large order!!!)

    • Traci Suppa said,
      December 12, 2012 @ 9:04 am

      Thanks for writing, Jerenne! I’m always glad to hear what people have to say about a place we’ve posted about. Especially when I’ve not been there myself. This was a guest review, and this person obviously did not try the Meltaways! :-) Merry Christmas!

1 Trackback \ Ping

  1. February 23, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Traci L. Suppa, Go BIG or Go Home, livinglightson, Go BIG or Go Home, Go BIG or Go Home and others. Go BIG or Go Home said: @CandyMainStreet We went to the world's largest candy store — Daffin's in PA — but think you have more to offer! http://bit.ly/ezUO8l […]