BEST CANDY STORE - 2002
Dulceria a La Pinata
Working in a candy store is not easy. It's so easy to freely sample the goods (all in the name of research, mind you) that one usually ends up gaining a few too many pounds or (horrors!) losing interest in sugar altogether. Kids, on the other hand, will tell you that a candy-store job is a dream aspiration. What better life than to be surrounded by brightly colored sweets and cellophane-wrapped goodies? Dulcería La Piñata, inside the Mercado Central mall, epitomizes everything about the old-time penny-candy store, with an international flavor. Children swarm the small corner shop, pointing eagerly toward the sunny packets of Mari's chewy candy, milky caramel Damys, de la Rosa marzipan, the omnipresent Chiclets, and more exotic treats like the cigar-shaped hot candy or Super Chile lollipops. What makes this haven special is the sheer volume of candy bags on the shelves and the kooky piñatas hanging from the ceiling. The display may not be as artful as Best of the Twin Cities hall-of-famer Candyland, but the sheer clutter makes the atmosphere appealing to folks of any age. After all, don't we all have a little bit of Willy Wonka living inside our hearts?