Sponge Candy – Batavia, NY

Well – I have to admit that Oliver’s Candy Store exterior paint color scheme definitely reminds me of milk chocolate sponge candy.

Oliver's Candy Store - Batavia, NY

Oliver’s Candy Store – Please Sign In

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!

Painted With Sponge Candy Brown Paint?

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.

Orange Flavored Sponge Candy Just For You

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.

Sponge Candy Awaits You in Batavia, NY

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!


Sponge Candy – Ellicottville, NY

A quick trip to Ellicottville (aka E-Ville…) in Cattaraugus County for a sunny day of skiing at HoliMont Ski Club.  Ski Club?  Who came up with that moniker…There were a ton of expensive condos, plus a parking lot FULL BMWs & Mercedes Benz parked next to the Main Lodge building – this is definitely not a “club” – Those folks are High Income folks who know how to play in the snow! Unfortunately, that is NOT me…But I digress.

One of the biggest benefits of driving home is that you must pass by the storefront of Watson’s Chocolates – one of my personal favorite sources of Buffalo Sponge Candy.  There was only one other person inside (err…that would be the woman behind the counter…) – so not a major distraction as I perused the merchandise.  Plenty of flotsam and jetsam from the pre-Valentine’s Day marketing effort dominated the décor.  Red, pink hearts and chocolates in those big glass cases.  You would have to be blind NOT to see the “cream of the crop”.  Boxes (and boxes) of sponge candy all piled up and ready to go…nowhere…The only analogy I could think of was:  “…What if you gave away free wings and pizza in downtown Buffalo and nobody showed up…”

Storefront in Ellicottvile, NY

I wonder how many of the Canadians who drive down to E-Ville and stay at those ritzy condos and chalets actually wander into Watson’s for a peek around.  Does anyone know any Canadians who are Sponge Candy fan(atics)?  I don’t – which means all the more for you…and me!

The counter girl (sorry – no name tag visible…) was all abuzz about the upcoming Food Channel episode that will feature their business.  Well – not this particular store in E-Ville, but the “chocolate factory” in Tonawanda.  Hey – I wonder if they give tours AND samples of their wares.

To make a short story even shorter – I walked out with a one pound box of Sponge Candy festively wrapped in V-Day paper.  A true survivor that escaped the retail mania that typically occurs around that particular chocolate holiday in Western New York.  Well, this story has a happy ending after all.  I peeled off the little tag with a “D” code – a simple system of keeping the D-ark sponge candy from fraternizing with the M-ilk chocolate.  I just can’t resist those boxes marked with a “D”…

Sponge Candy on the adoption rack waiting for you!

No – I have not informed my wife of this “sweet” retail purchase – I make the analogy of picking up a stray from the SPCA, but keeping it in a cardboard box the basement with a blanket until the time is right to make the announcement.  I can make that one pound box of dark chocolate sponge candy last for 2 weeks – and I will have to keep a tally of the piece count as I lift them out of the box and ‘adopt’ them.  No need for a cardboard box and blanket for me!’