BEST CANDY STORE - 2003
A great candy store should have big, open, glass cases that allow you to ogle the merchandise, sparking memories of both the insane sugar lust of childhood and the fanciful paintings of Wayne Thiebaud (who has celebrated the sixth food group in a series of wonderful and nostalgic still-life studies). It should also, without question, have Swedish fish, jawbreakers, and buttered popcorn. It should be a place of bright colors and tough choices and wonderful smells. Twin Cities institution Candyland has all these things and more. It smells so good, in fact, that its intoxicating aroma recently got it kicked out of the Mall of America (at least that's the semi-official version for why Candyland's MOA lease was not renewed in January). That is not, needless to say, something that should happen to great candy stores, but nobody but a fool or a hopeless curmudgeon would hold this last fact against the virtuous Candylanders. These good people have been peddling sweets since 1932, and the happiness they have given generations of Twin Cities residents will linger in local memories long after the Malliest Mall of Them All is nothing but a moldering ruin.