Destination USA: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store


Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

By TurtlesTravel

Jim's Apple Farm in Jordan, MN

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  • Loads of Licorice!

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  • Tons of Taffy!

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    Brings back childhood memories.

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  • The Bacon Section

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    Everything from bacon chocolate to bacon toothpaste!

Driving south on MN 169, approaching the small town of Jordan, there are many yards of bright, yellow fencing. This leads to the must-see destination Jim’s Apple Farm, also known as Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. A road-trip may be your best bet for finding the place, since they don’t have a website, or even a phone number online! This family business does things differently, some would say the old-fashioned way. We saw Robert Wagner, the son who currently runs the store, working hard out on the floor while we were there. The family has farmed in the area for generations. One year, after a poor apple harvest, they tried putting out some candy and other items to supplement the income. Things snowballed from there!

Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store

The original building has been expanded five times, now sprawling to over the length of a football field. We visited at a great time of year, and the outside area was set up with a colorful and varied assortment of squash, gourds and pumpkins.  Inside, there is a big section of fresh-picked apples, with knives out for sampling. Moving along there are shelves filled with pickled vegetables, sauces, soup mixes, hot sauce and other dry goods. There is a bakery offering delicious homemade pies and scones, and a refrigerator with local sausages and meats. Deeper into the store is the “puzzle” section, boasting the largest selection of puzzles in the world. People loaded up baskets with jigsaw puzzles, soon to be Christmas gifts for happy kids and grandkids.

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The Candy!

Then there’s the candy. If you’ve got a favorite, from pretty much any era or region, chances are you’ll find it here. From fudge and taffy to candy cigarettes, Kinder eggs, fancy chocolate bars in every imaginable flavor and cocoa content, the elusive Sugar Daddy, Moon pies, candy buttons, scorpion pops. The list is endless.

Licorice has a space all its own. Not all are enamored of licorice and its unique flavor, but I am a super-fan. This was the second time we’d visited the store, so I was already excited to load up on my favorite Dutch varieties. Some are sweet, some salty (Salmiak), some seem to be both. Even among the salty varieties, you can choose from light salt to very salty or double salt. There is also the option of hard or soft. One of our favorites has menthol. The licorice is also distinguished by its shape. Among those we purchased: Scheepstouw are hard with a brown salmiak coating, and a strong salmiak center, shaped like ship ropes. Donny tried one and won’t touch them again if he can help it. Personally, I love them, though the first minute or two are intense. We both love the lightly salty, soft, herring-shaped licorice. There are also many kinds of “All-Sorts,” fruity layered stacks and round shapes with soft, mild licorice.

Before heading to the register, be sure to check out the Bacon section, with everything from bacon-themed Band-aids to bacon mints, toothpaste, candies and even bacon soda.

150 Kinds of Root Beer

Speaking of soda, the front of the store houses the extensive soda collection, boasting 150 kinds of rootbeer alone. Even non-soda drinkers are duly tempted. I couldn’t resist Moxie in the old glass bottle. (For those uninitiated, Moxie is a soft drink flavored with gentian root, along the lines of Mr. Pibb or Dr. Pepper, but more bitter, less sweet. It’s the official soft drink of Maine, though it was invented in Massachusetts.) Donny opted for a vanilla creme root beer. Other choices included birch beer, sarsaparilla and a wide variety of international brands, fruit flavors and novelty flavors like cookie dough or pumpkin pie.

The store is open 7 days a week from mid-June to November from 9 am to about 7 pm. Credit cards are not accepted, cash only, but there are ATMs onsite!

About the author

Tamara and Donny have wandered together since 2004, with no cure for their insatiable wanderlust. They write about discovering new destinations including beautiful photography, plus budget travel tips and how to give back through travel.