My sister Debbie was absolutely crazy for Mallo Cups, which is why I did an abrupt about-face the other day in Fresh Market when I spotted a basket of the candy bars in a prominent display called “Old-Fashioned Candy Shop.” I can still see Debbie standing in the aisle at Peoples Drug Store and biting into a Mallo Cup’s ridiculously sweet center of coconut and marshmallow cream. I was never sure if she really liked the candy or just bought it for the redeemable cardboard coupons packaged inside. She kept a box of those coupons stashed away in her room.
I never liked Mallo Cups, although I bought one Saturday to see if the coupons are still packaged with the candy. They are. I always got Chuckles or Goetze’s Caramel Creams with the creamy powdered sugar in the middle of each piece. I liked popping out the center and eating it first. Both Chuckles and Caramel Creams are included in the Fresh Market display, but not Bit O Honey or Rolo, favorites for my other sister Peg. Ironically, a day or two after I was in Fresh Market, I spotted a box of Necco Wafers and Rolo on the checkout counter of Rite-Aid. They were discounted 25 percent.
I typically stay away from too much nostalgic merchandising because the '50s is an overrated decade (in my opinion). But I couldn’t resist the candy and spent $10 buying sweet memories. (A far cry for the quarter it used to take.). Other shoppers apparently agree, according to the store’s candy specialist Joy Wiley. “People just stand here in awe of the old candy,” she said, naming these top sellers: Zotz, Mary Jane, Sugar Babies and Boston Baked Beans.