There was a corner store at the end of the street that I grew up on. It was just a little wooden structure built onto the house of a family from China. The store was called “Tom’s” after the owner.

I can still hear the “clop clop” of my shoes on that wooden floor as I entered the dark little store, which I did many times over the years. Tom knew me, and most of us, by first name.

There was a small section of grocery items, a freezer full of Popsicles, and a fridge with bottles of pop. What drew most of the kids to the store was the glass counter into which we could peer at the assortments of candy. There were many that were five for one cent, or three for one cent, in addition to the more expensive one cent each items. I can remember going into that store with a quarter and coming out with a bag full of candy!

Every so often, my Dad would have a craving for a candy bar, and he and I would walk down to the store together for treats. We usually got the same things; a Cherry Blossom for my Mom, an Eat-More for Dad, a Mackintosh Toffee for my sister, and a Jersey Milk for me. The cost for all of these treats? Forty cents!

Simpler times….


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. We had a similar store near us called Steeles. And it had that same counter that we could peer into and select our treat! Thanks for a walk down memory lane:))

  2. Oh what wonderful memories this brings back to me! Walking home from grade school each day, my friends and I would stop by the corner store and spend a long time choosing our favorite candies…Dots, Squirrels, Mary Janes, Fireballs and lots more! Yummy!

  3. Loved walking back into that store with you to enjoy these memories!

    My Uncle Bob used to own a middle-of-the-country gas station/convenience store. Very small, very simple. Your story here takes me back there, and I so loved visiting, looking at the shelves and getting to look in the back rooms. Ahh, memories. 🙂

  4. what a nice memory, we had a store that we could get a whole bag of candy for .25 and we would make it last till the next week, on saturdays my Mom always gave us each a quarter to buy spend at the store while she was at the laundry mat next door, she knew the family that owned the store and I think they gave us better prices, I also remember if you bought less than .6 you didn’t pay sales tax, so we bought our candy in nickle increments.

  5. I love stories that send you back down memory lane and that’s just what you did for me with this wonderful tale. I remember walking to the store with my Granny Hood every Saturday I was at her home. Nowadays, it’s either too dangerous to get out and walk or too expensive. I long for the simplier times.

    Believe it or not we still have a store such as this in Gadsden, AL. It use to be called Nelsons but has recently undergone a name change which I can’t remember right now. It still has those wooden floors, the glass counter and a home-town deli. My husband and I sometime go there for lunch but I can tell you there is nothing in there for 1 penny…lol.

  6. Oh my … I had one of those corner grocers too: Ward’s. I loved the place, especially the penny candy section. Mother sometimes dispatched me there to grab milk or a loaf of bread if she hadn’t made it to the bigger store. They just wrote it down on a bill they kept until Dad or she would go by and settle up at the end of the week.

    Simpler times indeed!


  7. What a wonderful memory to have! When I was growing up, we had a little hispanic store down the block from our house and they also had a little eatery there. Let me tell you, they made the best burritos and tacos I’ve ever had!

  8. I love this simple story of a simpler time. You should submit this memory to the Reminisce magazine. Have you heard of it?

  9. Sweeeeet memories. I’ve never heard of any of those candies, but bet they were good.

  10. I love this post. I am starting to write family memories and my grandfather’s hardware store with a candy counter in it sounds so much like Tom’s. Wooden floors. Penny candy in little brown bags. And a happy heart.

  11. Thank you Linda, for bringing back some wonderful memories for me…I just loved my trips to the little store around the corner and peek into the glass case with all the penny candy there for me to see…(and have a hard time deciding which to pick…so many)

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