It’s occurred to me that whenever I post on here, more often than not I end up writing about food. Or, more specifically, desserts. I guess I’ve just got my priorities, but I didn’t realize this fact about myself until now. My boss just said I could “write about anything,” and low and behold I’ve written about food. From cookies to gingerbread and now to candy, nothing edible can escape me.

Having said that, is it really all that surprising that I’m here to tell you that it’s National Hard Candy Day? I genuinely don’t know where we get these holidays, but I am glad that we, as a country, have decided that hard candy deserves a day all to itself. Color me #ProudtobeanAmerican.

So, if you want to take a break during this windy hump day, why not make a quick whimsy-trip to any of these great Fort Collins candy stores? You can get some last-minute gifts there, and no one needs to know if one of them is your holiday gift to yourself.

1) Rocket Fizz

Todd Harding, TSM

This nostalgia-soaked candy shop will take you right back to the weirdest part of the ‘50s. Not only do they have an impressive rainbow of saltwater taffy and vintage/international/what-even-is-that candy, but they also carry flavored soda’s ranging from pumpkin pie to Kim Jong-Un Doomsday Lemonade. Definitely worth the trip if you want to feel like you've walked into a candy-themed fever dream.

2) Colorado Candy Factory

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The Colorado Candy Factory is a Fort Collins-based establishment specializing in the hard candy your Nana keeps in bowl for when you visit. Including brittles, hand-made hard candies, and ribbon candies that look like the edging on a vintage artisan jacket, you can get sweets here that are as delicious as they are pretty. They even make candy art that looks like saccharine blown glass.

3) The Fort Collins Candy Store Emporium

It seems like Fort Collins has a thing for vintage candy, and The Fort Collins Candy Store Emporium is one of the best of them! The owner, Tony “The Candy Man” Vallejos carries all kinds of weird and antique candies, from Tabasco chocolate to bubblegum cigarettes. He sells vintage toys, too, and lets you make a ‘fill-your-own’ stocking with toys and candy for the holidays. Not to mention that they have a surprisingly fun Instagram account.




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4) Kilwins

Todd Harding, TSM

Ok, these guys may not technically make hard candy, but I didn’t feel like exclude them from a post about candy in good conscience. Although Kilwins mostly focuses on home-made fudges, chocolates, and ice creams (which I could never say is a bad thing), they also carry lemon drops, gummi bears, and candied fruits. Head on in if you want to watch them dip caramel apples, pour out a batch of fresh fudge, or just bask in that sugar-cone sweetness that always seems to fill the store.