Editor’s note: we visited Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store four years ago, and thought it time to revisit their sugary bounty.
What’s your sweet hankering? Cotton-candy- or pineapple- or banana-split-flavored saltwater taffy? Fresh-baked apple pie or strudel? Chocolate cookies or vintage candies? Huckleberry- or Dr-Pepper-flavored licorice? No? Not a problem — there are more than 80 more flavors of licorice to choose from. Baseball-bat-sized tube of jelly beans? Gummy bears and all other critters in all different flavors? Fudge, chocolate and maple? Nut brittles? Maple syrup and honey produced locally?
You can get your sweets in the form of things that are good for you, namely apples and a comprehensive collection of winter squash, including the mother of all squashes, the Hubbard. And you can find the equipment to make your own carnival funnel cakes as well as baking kits for all kinds of cupcakes, including red velvet.
You’re in luck, at least through Thanksgiving weekend. Jim’s Apple Farm, home to the seasonal candy store that bills itself as Minnesota’s largest (we don’t know if it really is, but we’d be happy to learn of a store that’s bigger), is on Highway 169 south of Jordan (about 30 minutes from the Twin Cities). Jim’s, which has neither its own website nor a working phone number, started as an apple orchard and farm, with evidence of all those items for sale. But the big deal here is the candy.
Maybe you prefer something savory: Habañero popcorn? Pasta? Barbecue sauce? Meat? (Yes, real meat, primarily pork, in the form of cottage bacon, sausages, and chops.)
Hey, look — there’s a whole wall devoted to bacon products, from Vosges bacon-chocolate bars to bacon gum to bacon wallets to bacon dental floss to bacon mints. Yes, bacon mints.
Oh! You want a beverage? No problem. You can get a bacon soda (described as “carbonated bacon grease”), or if not bacon soda, your choice of over 150 kinds of root beer, and a smaller but still considerable number of ginger beers and cream sodas, and everything else from Toxic Slime to Lemon Meringue Soda to Martian Soda to Nuclear Orange Bomb, complete with a picture of North Korea’s Beloved Leader on the bottle.
Or God help us all, this is where you can finally get those candy cigarettes from your childhood that you’ve been dying to find. Just to prove that they really existed. And they’re not far away from the statue of the Indian chief with a headdress made of giant lollipops.
The store is ready to serve all your snacking needs. It’s hard to imagine a more cheerful place, from the screaming yellow picket fences that border the property to the sign that proclaims “Caramel Apples — Resistance is Futile” to the mind-boggling array of candy of every shape, size, and sweetness. Generally cliches are considered to be a bad thing, but the one about “good for kids of all ages” is more appropriate than usual here.
Note: Credit cards are not accepted, but there are five ATMs on site. Save yourself time on busy weekends, and get your cash before arrival.
Jim’s Apple Farm, 20430 Johnson Memorial Dr, Jordan, MN 55352; Open daily through Sunday, Nov. 30, 8am-8pm