“But the GooGoo Cluster, as I was about to discover, was not some carefully calibrated candy bar with neat angles and computer-regulated ratios. It was a delightful mess.” -Steve Almond
Currently, I am reading the book, “Candy Freak.”
Steve Almond (Author and Hero) sets out of this amazing sociological and almost archeological journey of exploring the small candy manufacturers still left in United States. He visits candy makers who have a more regional presence and may be slowly and sadly becoming obsolete. His stops include Necco (The Necco Wafer, Sky Bar, etc.), Goldberg Candy (The Peanut Chew), Standard Candy Co, (The GooGoo), Stifers (The Valomilk), and others.
I didn’t know most of these companies before I started, but the more I read, the more I realized that I NEEDED to get my hands on some of these candy bars! So, I grabbed by best guy friend (who kept calling me “one strange bird” for wanting to make this mecca) and headed to the friendly, neighborhood Cracker Barrel (The Book said that the Cracker Barrel usually stocks more obscure, vintage brands).
Low and behold, I found a trove of vintage candy.
Call my crazy, but after reading so much about them, the candy now held a certain celebrity. It was a little like meeting Mickey Rooney in person! I had respect for these brands. They had history; they were the little guy, still fighting it out, with absolutely no prospects of ever becoming a Hershey or Mars Company. They held a noble and innocent sense of capitalism that makes you want to wear suspenders, grow a mustache, go to work, and pack lunch in a tin pail! (That image might only make sense in my head, but I’m going with it.)
So, I proudly, yes proudly, went to the counter with my GooGoos, Skybar, Nut Goodie and Valomilk. They were everything I had hoped for. They were delicious, a bit messy, fun and felt like a wonderful treat…as a candy bar should be.