Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Trip to Baldinger's!

What is Baldinger's?

Well. It is only the most awesomist (is that even a word?) candy and other fun food store! It's located Butler County in Zelienople, Pennsylvania...and lucky for us, it's just about a half an hour away!

You may have heard of them. They've been on CBS, The Travel Channel and Food Network. In fact, when Allison and I were there in October, we met 4 young adults that had just driven 6 1/2 hours from New York to go to Baldinger's. They had seen it on Food Network and decided to take a road trip. Oh to be young and impulsive!

It's been around for 77 years and two years ago when they celebrated their 75th Anniversary, we almost lost it! Yup, developers and such bought the whole parcel of land to build who knows what and so it was to be the end of Baldinger's.

:( So sad!

Once the word got out the store was closing, the public screamed "NO!" and screamed it loud! There was a petition and a write up in the Pittsburgh paper. The public was NOT going to let it go quietly!

Well, I'm happy to say for once the little people got their way! Woo hoo!

Pat Boylan, a local businessman, bought the store and moved it up the road. He recreated it in a new building but brought a lot of the old fixtures and all of the staff. The same grandma-type ladies who had owned and been running it for years still run it exactly like it was run before Mr. Boylan bought it. The way it had worked for 75 years so why change it! He recognized that the nostalgia of the place is what drew all those people to petition it's demise and made it successful. He's a smart man because let me tell you, yesterday when we went, there was no less than 40 people in that little store the whole time we were there! Curtis commented that he didn't know how they could close it's a goldmine!

Before I take you on a little tour, let me say a few more things. This store is not run by fancy computers or electronic cash registers. No. They still use paper and pencil to add your purchases up and then put it in an old antique cash register with a wooden cash drawer. The price tag stickers on the items are also written by pricing gun for them. Also, if you are going, make sure you bring cash or a check because that's all they take and they are open 10am - 5pm "Every day of the year except legal holidays."

Now on to the tour! Remember, you can click on any of the photos to get a closer look.

Here's the old store that was located just up the road from the new one. I "borrowed" this picture from their Facebook account.

As you can see, Allison is SO happy to be there! We were having an "All About Allison" day...taking her to lunch and Build-A-Bear but she didn't know we were stopping at Baldinger's! When Curtis pulled in the lot she screamed "Baldinger's! We told her that we were just turning around but then I unlatched my seat belt and she screamed with joy "We ARE going in! Daddy said today was all about me!" I LOVE making her happy!

Here she is posing with the penny candy. Yes! They still have penny candy!

Here is the full view of the penny candy and gum table. The gum are ones you have trouble finding anymore, Fruit Strip, Teaberry, Big Red and any flavor of Bubblicious you want. Okay, look in the bottom right hand corner. Do you see it? Yes! It's flying remember, don't you. They are those communion like wafers that look like flying saucers with beads of candy in them! 4 for 25 cents!

The 10 cent table!

Here are some candy that come in bulk and they prepackage it out. See the price tags?

Here are some of the "Food from All Nations." It's all different fun stuff.

As you can see here, on top of the food shelves there is Christmas figurines and decorations above. They have a Christmas room in the back but Christmas stuff all over the top shelves as well.

This candy you buy by the pound...and yes, it's weighed on an old fashioned scale. You just pick up a little brown bag (can you see those in the bottom corner?) and fill till your hearts content!

More smiles but do you see what she's smiling about?

Let me pan out for you!
Yes, that's three rows of any candy bar imaginable!
Now while we are here, look above the rows of candy. Those are boxes of any kind of tea you could imagine and above that are gourmet food mixes...soups, crockpot, cheese balls, dips, desserts, etc. They carry the whole line of Wind and Willow which makes Mommy very happy. I love their stuff! And look up way high...more Christmas items!

Here's a peek into the back Christmas room. They carry any Old World ornament you may want. I think there's five 6-foot tables filled with them. My Mom does her tree in them and it's gorgeous!

A few more to drool over!

The candy shelves again...mmmm...a kid's paradise!

Did I mention they had cookie cutters? Well they do and hundreds of them! This is only maybe 2/3's of them and they are so affordable. Some are under a dollar and up to three dollars for the really big ones. Any cookie cutter you want can be found here!

They also have shelves and shelves of jams, jellies and butters. Hot pepper jelly, tomato jam, dandelion jelly along with the traditional grape and strawberry. We've bought the dandelion and actually really like it. Yum!

Sprinkles, jimmies and colored sugar for all of your baking needs. It's all for $1 a can't get that price in the grocery store!

The gummy table! Grab yourself a bag!

They also have these little porcelain figurines that you can collect. I used to have a shadow box and collected them myself when I was young. Hmm, wonder if they make them anymore? That would be a fun thing for Allison!

Here's one of their old fixtures with candy sticks displayed on top.

Need some pancake flour, buckwheat, cornmeal, buckwheat flour or whole wheat flour? You can find it here and it's made at the mill just up the road.

One last item on our tour and then I won't make your mouth water anymore. Remember the panoramic sugar eggs you used to get in your Easter basket from the Easter bunny? Remember it was a pure sugar egg with hard candy icing and a little Easter scene inside? Well they have them...big ones like the one below and little ones too!

I hope you enjoyed taking a tour through Baldinger's with me. It absolutely is a magical place for kids young and old.

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1 comment:

Sandy said...

Cindi, The store looks like a good day trip, can't believe I didn't know about it. Talk about looking as happy as a kid in a candy store!!!!that's what Allison and Curtis look like.


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