Well – I have to admit that Oliver’s Candy Store exterior paint color scheme definitely reminds me of milk chocolate sponge candy.
In fact, when you pull into their parking lot at 211 West Main Street, Batavia, NY – that big sign just scream out: We’re Here! A very nice retro design style but the message seems to be just a little bit garbled…maybe it’s just me but…what’s up with the words: “own” and “made”. Is the “H”missing? Is there a “T” Alex? Can I buy a vowel? Is the real message Home Made? I hope so!
Stroll into their store and you quickly get over whelmed..and I do mean OVER whelmed by the stacks and racks of chocolate products. Wow! Just follow your nose! And if you make it all the way to the back of the store, or just enter from the other side of the building – you will walk past the ice cream counter. Did I stop? Not me – the weather is still too cold, plus I was still wearing my ski duds from a morning of fun in the sun at Bristol Mountain. After a tough morning of skiing, there is nothing like the aroma of milk chocolate or dark chocolate sponge candy to lift your spirits. Oliver’s even had a limited number of orange flavored chocolate sponge candy on the shelf.
Now, don’t get me wrong…but when I put my glasses on, the actual size of the sponge candy pieces were somewhat random in size and shape. Now that put me off a bit. Call me “Old School” – but when I open up a box of sponge candy, I don’t want to be the one who gets the smallest piece in the box…let somebody else take that “little guy” away. My consumer preference is to have a consistently sized selection of each flavor. This way I know that I don’t have to waste any time looking for the Biggest Bad Boy in the one pound box. I call it Equal Opportunity.
O.K. – I did purchase a box of Oliver’s “mixed” milk and dark chocolate sponge candy – In fact, the helpful young lady with a number of body piercings visible above the neckline (and don’t get me started on that topic…) strolled into the mysterious back room, but returned several minutes later with my half-pound box, then rings up the order. All the while, I am watching mothers walk in with their kids who immediately start requesting their favorite flavors and shapes.
Personal favorites can be a bit tricky – could be that the “best” milk chocolate Buffalo Sponge Candy comes from one store but your “other best” dark chocolate Buffalo Sponge Candy comes from another. Dedicated chocolate sponge candy fan[atics] may want to spend their free time “cherry picking” a number of stores in Erie County or Western New York – but my strategy is to stick with ONE store that can consistently produce a nice sized product, with a reliable (and hopefully thick) chocolate coating plus offer it to me (and the general public) in an attractive one pound box. And a good price doesn’t hurt either! I really don’t have a preference for color or shape or even the graphics or store logo design that might be on the box itself. Hey – you can’t eat the business logo design, can you? Thought so!
My half pound “mixed” selection purchased at Oliver’s is now the second contestant in the 2011 Sponge Candy Taste Off – it is now sitting on my kitchen counter next to its Kissing Cousin (also a half pound box) that I purchased in Ellicottville last week.
I expect to pick up several more “family members” next week. I have almost completed the score sheet and sponge chocolate evaluation criteria which will bring all of this chocolate goodness together. Remember, the decision of the Judge(s) is final. Life can be short – eat Buffalo Sponge Candy!