When it comes to Valentine’s Day candy, chocolate isn’t the only kid on the block. If you want points for creativity, pass on the red heart-shaped box from Walgreens. I can also do without those chalky pastel message hearts, thank you.
Our travels have brought us to several BIG candy stores where the selection is vast, and the ideas are limitless. For inspiration, I recommend visiting one of the world’s largest candy stores from this list before buying sweets for your sweetie. I’ve also made a few suggestions on what to buy to commemorate Valentine’s Day, if you want to go a step beyond predictable!
b.a. Sweetie Candy Company, Inc.
While Sweeties Candy is the largest candy store in Arizona, its no-frills warehouse in Cleveland, Ohio bills itself as the “largest candy store in the U.S.A.,” offering the “largest selection of candy in the world.” Those are some pretty BIG claims, so we went to check it out last summer on our Cleveland road trip.
You’ll need at least an hour to cover the 20,000 square feet housing ten aisles of candy – over 3,500 different varieties, stocked floor to ceiling. You’ll find a lot of bulk candy on display in addition to small packages, and all the tools – molds, sprinkles, sugars — to make your own candy.
There’s an entire wall dedicated to PEZ dispensers and hard-to-find candy flavors like chocolate and cola. I loved discovering brands I’ve never heard of before, like Pearson’s Nut Goodies, Chase Cherry Mash candy bars, and Annabelle’s Abba-Zaba Taffey.
Best Bet For Valentine’s Day – Head to the large Jelly Belly display, and mix a custom blend from the vast variety of colors; including all sorts of red and pink hues.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
At 15,000 square feet, the New York City flagship is one of the world’s largest candy stores by square footage, spread out over three floors of retail space. (There are also Dylan’s locations in East Hampton, NY; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Miami, FL.) While you’ll find all major brands, from M&M’s to Wonka, Dylan’s also colorfully packages its own brand of confections, like chocolate-drizzled popcorn clusters and chocolate bars in flavors like Red Velvet Cake and Banana Cream Pie.
I especially enjoyed the Nostalgia Shoppe of “retro” candy, like Bit-O-Honey and other childhood favorites. Meanwhile, my kids begged to skewer marshmallows and Rice Krispie treats to dip under the chocolate fountain.
Best Bet For Valentine’s Day – Check out their gift box assortments of chocolate-covered strawberries and Oreos, with red and pink drizzle and sprinkles!
What began in 1903 as a family-owned store in Ohio has grown over time into seven Daffin’s locations in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. The largest of these, the 20,000 square-foot store in Sharon, claims the title of the world’s largest candy store. A large part of this store is actually the Chocolate Kingdom attraction with large chocolate animals, including a 400-pound chocolate turtle, an elephant, frog, and reindeer. There are also two large castles, and an entire miniature village with chocolate houses and railroads.
We have not been to Daffin’s ourselves, but we did publish a less-than-glowing guest post a while back. Our reviewer did, however, appreciate the free chocolate samples, and the large wall of salt water taffy.
Best Bet for Valentine’s Day – To this day, each piece of Daffin’s candy is decorated by hand, so a heart-shaped box of assorted chocolates would, in fact, be acceptable in this case!