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Looking back in time, it`s interesting to see how tastes and trends have differed to such a huge extent when it has come to sweets, chocolate and confectionery products across the decades. In the UK today, for instance, top sellers of our time include some wonderful sweet shop delights such as the American-based Hershey Bar, but in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s things were very different and the ever-famous Mars Bar most definitely held the No. 1 position when it came to the top ten most popular sweet confectionery products of the era here in the UK. As we entered the 1990s, though, the Mars Bar did actually slip down the rankings slightly to be overtaken by other well-known chocolate products such as Cadbury`s Dairy Milk and Kit Kat ... but, hey, that`s just focussing on chocolate (the first bar of which, incidentally, is said to have been produced as far back in time as the 1840s!!). Other sweet and confectionery products which go way back in time, but which have remained consistently famous up to the present day include Turkish Delight (said to have begun life in 1777) and, closer to home for us, Kendal Mint Cake (which is thought to have been introduced to the market during the 1860s), but as the decades continue to unfold and as sweet manufacturers continue to experiment with the wealth of different tastes, textures and flavours available to us today, we can`t help but ask ourselves what we Brits will be chomping on in the years ahead. If you could design a brand new sweet shop product to be launched to the UK sweets market, what would it be?
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In this week`s sweet shop blog we thought we`d take a closer look at Swizzel`s Matlow and the wonderful array of sweet, sugary favourites they have brought to our sweet shop shelves for decades.


From as far back in time as the 1920s Swizzel`s Matlow have been producing great quality sweets, with the Swizzel`s Matlow business first focussing on the manufacture of jelly sweets before progressing on to the current compressed sugar range they are perhaps most famous for today.

Swizzel`s Matlow produce a great range of crunchy favourites like the old-fashioned Double Lolly, Parma Violets, Fizzers and Climpies, as well as chewy delights such as Drumstick Lollies, Mr. Chew and Refresher Chews.

We utilise Swizzel`s Matlow products in a number of our own product lines iand, because each sweet comes individually wrapped, they make a great sweets gift range for literally every occasion, especially when it comes to party sweets and corporate sweet gifting where one sweets jar or sweets gift box can be left open for anyone at the event to choose from.

One particular favourite from Swizzel`s Variety Mix in our opinion is the Drumstick Lolly.

Did you know that the well-known Drumstick Lolly is consumed in the UK at the unbelievable rate of over 120 million individual lollies each year.   Swizzel`s Matlow Drumstick Lollies are made up from a mix of sugar, glucose and vegetable oil all mixed together to form a sticky hot syrup.  Once mixed, the syrup is cooled, shaped and wrapped to make the deliciously chewy, fruity, creamy flavoured Drumstick Lolly we have been enjoying for years and years. 

Drumstick Lollies were originally produced in just one Raspberry and Milk flavour, but today they are produced in other flavours, including, Strawberry and Cream and Cherry and Apple, both equally as delicious as the original. 

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There is no time at all in the sweet shop calendar that a great value box of top quality sweets is not in demand and with Christmas drawing ever closer and being one time when Customers are particularly on the lookout for great value, we thought it was high time we expanded our range of Sweet Gift Boxes to include some exciting new products at a lower cost than those already on our website.

Our original Sweets Gift Box and Sweet Hamper range included a number of larger-sized products costing around £30-£40 each and we wanted to extend our range to include some great value for money options priced at less than £20 each.  After much thought and deliberation we eventually came up with the following list of goodies, all packaged into top quality shimmery silver gift boxes, each with a clear Perspex fitted lid so the products inside can be seen immediately:

Hard and Boiled Sweets Gift Box (containing favourites such as Rosie Apples, Pear Drops, Candy Stix and Fireblast)

Chocolate Gift Box (a great range including Chocolate Footballs, Mini Eggs, Chewing Nuts, etc.)

Fizzy Sweets Gift Box (a fizzy frenzy featuring Watermelon & Apple Fizzballs, Flying Saucers and Fizzy Bubblegum Bottles to name just a few)

Soft and Chewy Gift Box (Haribo Rhubarb & Custard, Gold Nuggets Bubblegum, Wham Bars, Dolly Mixture and many more)

Wrapped Retro Sweets Variety Gift Box (a great selection of small-sized individually wrapped Swizzel`s Matlow Sweets offering something for everyone)

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With so many of the wonderful sweets of yesteryear disappearing, we`ll be taking a look in this week`s blog at two of those at least which are still available and are still as much loved today as they were all those decades ago when they were first introduced.  The sweets we`re looking at this time are Caramac and Freddo.


The Caramac bar is sometimes referred to as a chocolate bar, but strictly speaking it`s not really a chocolate bar at all.  Caramac is the brand title of a fairly unique caramel-flavoured bar produced these days by Nestle (originally made by Mackintosh – hence the name which is made up of the first bit of the word caramel and the first bit of the manufacturer`s name – hence caramac.  Caramac still comes today in the same distinctive red and yellow wrapper, although these days it`s a cellophane, sealed version, and not the old paper type we recognised from years ago. Caramac is manufactured from a recipe using condensed milk, sweetened, butter sugar and flavouring.  Caramac is, and always has been, a top seller and, when it comes to retro sweets, it`s right up there in the popularity charts.

The Freddo bar is one of the smallest bars dairy milk chocolate produced by Cadbury and the advertising slogan was that chocolate is more fun when it`s sold in the shape of a frog .... and who could possibly dispute that !

Freddo bars were originally introduced to the market in 1973, but then withdrawn from sale in 1979.  After some time away, the amazing Freddo chocolate frog was brought back in a re-launch in 1994 and it`s unstinting popularity in modern times has meant it has stayed with us right up until the present day. 

If either (or both) of these great retro sweet products happen to be feature on your personal list of favourites, then check out our newly introduced Chocolate Gift Box where you`ll find  Freddo and Caramac sitting alongside some other all time favourites like Chomp, Star Bar and Curly Wurly, our 1980s Retro Sweet Hamper or our Sweets from the 1980s Large Gift Box.

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We were reflecting back earlier today on some of our most memorable sweets from the 1980s and, as you might imagine, the list we came up with is LONG, LONG one, including favourites like Anglo Bubbly, Flying Saucers, Space Dust, Candy Whistles, Caramac, Alphabet (or ABC) Letters, Freddo, Cabana, Star Bar, Waifa, Weekend Chocolates (boxed), Coconut Mushrooms .... we could just go on and on and on!

Sadly, some of the sweets which were our absolute favourites from earlier decades, including sweets from the 1960s and 1970s actually disappeared from our sweet shop shelves during the 1980s and these included one of the sweet shop icons of all time, the Banjo, with it`s two wafer fingers (similar in style to the Twix).  Banjo came in two flavours – Toasted Coconut (which was our personal favourite!) and Roasted Nut. 

Another classic to have slipped from our grasp during the 1980s was the wonderful chocolate box in a bar, aka Fry`s Five Centres.  Fry`s 5 Centres was one small-sized dark chocolate covered chocolate bar with five separate individual fruity flavours, including Strawberry, Orange, Lime, Lemon and .... (actually, what WAS that fifth and final flavour ??).   Sadly, today, given the disappearance of Fry`s Five Centres, only Fry`s Chocolate Cream, Fry`s Peppermint Cream and Fry`s Orange Cream remain.

And what about Treets? These have to be one of the most fondly remembered decade sweets of all time, sadly wiped out by the more modern version of a similar sweet M & Ms in the late `80s.  In our opinion, Treets were an outright winner when it came to tiny little chocolates encased in a crisp sugary shell and there`s no other sweet on the market to beat them ...... but, hey, that`s just OUR opinion.

Look out for our next blog when we`ll focus specifically on two of the products listed here from the 1980s which are still available – Caramac and Freddo.

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Sweets from the 1970s

In this week`s Blog our focus is on popular sweets in the 1970s here in the UK and 1970s sweets and chocolates.

When it comes to old-fashioned sweets from the 1970s, in our opinion, some of the best remembered are Sweet Tobacco (or Coconut Tobacco is it was referred to at that time), Anglo Bubbly (the one `guaranteed` to blow the biggest bubbles .... remember ?),  Space Dust (now known as Fizz Wiz) and Flying Saucers (sometimes called Space Ships).

As far as 1970s sweet facts are concerned, it goes without saying that some sweets giving rise to our fondest memories from the 1970s decade are sadly no longer available – Mint Cracknell and Bar Six for example, and Keiller`s or Callard & Bowser Butterscotch have all disappeared ... and those sweets which are still available (like the ones mentioned above) are now termed `1970s retro sweets`.  

One really great piece of news which came our way earlier this month, though, was that the magnificent Mojo, a total icon from the 1970s, is to be returned to the market after a barrage of requests from Customers over the four or so years since it was finally withdrawn.  We feel sure there are few people out there who will not clearly recall the Mojo gracing the `penny tray` of just about every sweet shop and corner shop in England and the only unfortunate fact about its forthcoming return in 2016 is that it is to be in just one flavour (Cola) and in stick pack form, rather than being sold as individual sweets. 

Black Jacks and Fruit Salads were, as many readers will recall, a close cousin of the Mojo during the 1970s and, happily, these two little chews have survived and, whilst they are both now available in stick pack form like the Mojo will be , it is also still possible to buy them as individual sweets and we sell both varieties in both our high street sweet shop in Clitheroe and via our online sweet shop.

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Father's Day Title

Father`s Day traditionally falls on the third Sunday in June and this year Sunday, 19th June is Father`s Day (NOTE:  this is one date in the calendar you should DEFINITELY remember!).  Father`s Day is a long-standing tradition and is an annual celebration aimed at honouring Father`s and their influence, not just within the family, but across society as a whole.

So, what`s new in Father`s Day treats for 2016 here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop?  Well, how about the ever-popular No1 Retro Sweets Hamper or our newly introduced Chocolate Gift Box which is crammed full of wonderful sweet treats all guaranteed to please.   Or, for those of you out there who may be looking for something more traditional when it comes to finding a great Father`s Day Gift for 2016, why not try our Luxury Liquorice Gift Box which has all the favourites inside such as Bassett's Allsorts, Liquorice Cream Rock and Sherbet Fountains to name a few.

Father`s Day only comes around once a year and what better than a box full of sweet nostalgia to bring a smile to your Dad`s face this year.  And, don`t forget, we still offer FREE UK delivery on all orders over £50.00.  All our sweet hampers and gift boxes are put together right here in Lancashire, so they definitely tick all the boxes when it comes to gifts made in Britain.

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Looking ahead to the forthcoming launch of the Angry Birds 3D animation comedy movie which features Red, Chuck and Bomb, alongside the mysterious green piggies, it seemed appropriate for us to focus this week`s Sweet Shop Blog on Angry Birds Sweets. 

Angry Birds fruit gummies come beautifully packaged in a range of green, white, grey, pink, orange and red illustrated boxes, all displaying very detailed information of the product inside.  Available flavours of the Angry Bird Fruit Gummies include Cherry, Watermelon, Grape, Peach, Orange and Fruit Punch and the gummies are confirmed to be nut free, gluten free, fat free and made with real fruit juice.

We stock Angry Birds Fruit Gummies in the full range of flavours and in boxes of each available colour from the Angry Birds Second Edition 1-6.

For more information on Angry Birds products, etc., look up where you can learn more about angry Birds Movies, Games and Characters .... and for more information about Angry Birds Fruit Gummy Sweets check out our Angry Birds sweets selection here.

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Sweets Pulling Machine

Hands up who wants to know how confectionery is manufactured?  Well, in this week`s blog we thought we`d take a look at how sweets are made generally.  Sweets and how to make them is really quite simple.  The process generally relies on the boiling of sugar or sugar-related products and adding colourings and flavourings to make the sweets look and taste exactly as you would want, before allowing the mixture to cool so that it forms the required consistency.   This process can be performed on a small scale at home to make individual batches of sweets for friends and family or the operation can be scaled up to factory level in order to manufacture sweets on a wholesale basis.


2 Cups Water

4 Cups Caster Sugar

150g Butter

Let`s start by looking at how to make confectionery like brittle toffee. 

The process starts by melting together the caster sugar and water in a large, heavy-based saucepan.  Once the sugar is dissolved, gently stir in the butter until completely melted and so that the mixture looks glossy and smooth.  Next, pour out your hot toffee mixture into a well-greased baking tray before setting the toffee aside to set in a cool place for around 3-4 hours.  Once set, the toffee is ready to be turned out onto clean baking parchment and cracked with a toffee hammer until it breaks into small, bite-sized pieces.  “ENJOY”!!

Moving on with a similar sweet manufacturing theme in our next Blog look out for our forthcoming article explaining who owns Tangerine Confectionery and how this company has developed, progressed and changed in recent years to become the sweet manufacturing firm it is today.

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Retro Sweets

Our business centres on the retail sale of sweets and confectionery and we are often asked who invented confectionery?  The answer to this question is not entirely straight forward, especially if we bear in mind that there are two, or maybe three, distinctly different types of confection.  As far as our business is concerned, the term `confectionery` relates directly and solely to sugar confection (such as we might associate with hard-boiled sweets and candies, etc.), but there are two other types of confection which include baked confection (i.e. cakes and pastries, etc.) and chocolate.

The earliest records of confectionery production date back to prehistoric times and relate, in the main, to honey.  In later times, honey was combined with fruit and nuts to make a `confection` which is more in line with the type of thing we recognise today.  It was not until around the middle ages when sugar candies came into being, although at that point the cost of sugar needed to produce the candies made it impossible for anyone except the very wealthy to afford them.

Threats to the confectionery industry in recent times have come, as they have in the past, mainly from the high price of sugar.  In the present day, however, there are other potential threats to the confectionery industry which have a more recent history – not least a current and emerging trend to avoid sugar because of the perceived impact on health and obesity.

In our opinion, however, the old saying that `a little of what you fancy does you good` still holds strong and, providing sweets and confectionery are consumed in moderation, rather than in excessive quantities, we feel sweets and confectionery still have a key role to play in everyday life.

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Hands up who saw the following two sweetie shop-themed articles featured in The Telegraph recently - both totally brilliant in our view.

First off was an article announcing the opening in Soho of a pop-up Creme Egg Cafe! (yes, you did read that correctly – a cafe centred totally around the famous Cadbury`s Creme Egg – how amazing is that!).  Apparently, there are just four items on the menu of this temporary establishment (as listed below), each speciality costing just £4.00, which includes a cup of tea or coffee (absolute bargain, we think!).

Menu:  Creme Egg and Soldiers, Creme Egg Toastie, Creme Egg Tray Bake, Strawberries and Creme Egg.  Well, the hands down winner from this list in our humble opinion simply HAS to be the Creme Egg Toastie ... and the guy featured in the online article with the truly enviable task of sampling the various chocolate fondant treats  absolutely agreed, describing the Creme Egg Toatie as `really very delicious` - a combination of salty, buttery toast with a super-sweet and chocolate flavoured filling.

Next up, for all you sweetie fans out there, there was a picture list detailing what were said to be some of our favourite traditional British sweets.  The article featured 20 sweets in total and these are listed below in the order they were shown:  Jelly Babies, Liquorice Allsorts, Lovehearts, Wine Gums, Gobstoppers, Rock (in stick form, not broken), Drumsticks, Black Jacks and Fruit Salads (listed as one combination item, rather than separately), Barley Sugars, Polo Mints, Sherbet Fountains, Spangles (no longer with us, sadly), Pear Drops, Humbugs, Everton Mints, Opal Fruits (now known as Starburst), Fruit Pastilles, Parma Violets, Flying Saucers and Pontefract Cakes. 

We`re not sure whether the list was compiled as a result of any particular poll, etc. or whether the sweets listed were simply drawn from the memory of the author, but in our opinion, especially when it comes to British sweets, we think the list should have been extended to 25 to include these five noteworthy contenders which we feel to be worthy of a mention – 1) the ever-famous Wham Bar, 2) Swizzels Fizzers, 3) the Sherbet Dip Dab, 4) Butterscotch and 5) Liquorice Torpedoes. 

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When it comes to Valentine`s Day, thousands of us are left scouring the internet in search of sweet gifts to send and gifts which can be delivered (be that secretly with just a shakily-written X on the label, or with an open declaration of undying love!). 

Here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop, we specialise in the design and delivery of sweet gifts to say I Love You, so If you are looking for sweet gifts to send to your boyfriend, then look no further as we have just the answer with our amazing Retro Sweet Hampers.  Alternatively, if you are searching for sweet gifts to give a girl or to get a girlfriend then we think our top-selling I Love You Sweetie Gift Box is just the thing you need.

So, in summary, for all those of you out there who are asking which gifts are good for boyfriends ?  we feel we`ve given you the answer, and if you are looking for what gifts to get a girl ? then the answer definitely lies within our website too!

One question we do struggle to answer fully, and not just as this ever-popular romantic occasion approaches, is `are sweets better than chocolate`?  The best we can do here to help guide you is to offer the following checklist based on our own views and leave you to decide for yourselves ...

Question                                             Sweets                                                 Chocolate


Visually appealing?                         Bright and colourful                           Fairly dull

Long lasting?                                    Hard-boiled last for ages                  Melts fairly quickly

Good for all age groups?               Some are, some aren`t                      Definitely, yes

Good in hot weather?                     Mainly, yes                                           Melts at high temperatures

Toppings for cakes?                       Definitely, yes                                      Definitely, yes

Best retro-themed?                         Wham Bars                                          Caramac

Famous lost icon?                           Iron Bru Wham Bar                             Bar Six   

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We imagine that a great many of you out there remember that famous song `Sweets for my Sweet`.  The question is often asked ... “who sings Sweets for my Sweet?” and the answer to this burning question is that the song was actually a hit in 1963 for The Searchers. 

Moving on from that, but still remaining on a similar topic, Valentine`s Day is the one popular event each year in which people actually go out and fulfil the lyrics of the song by doing just what the song describes and buying sweets for their loved one.

Valentine`s Day is said to date back to Ancient Roman Times when it was linked to a festival celebrated in mid-February called Lupercalia.  In the 5th Century, the Christian Church is said to have claimed Valentine`s Day as it`s own, renaming the event St. Valentine`s Day. 

But, whatever the history of this well-known calendar event for lovers all over the world, one thing is sure - sales of sweets, candy, chocolate and confectionery absolutely soar each year on the approach to February 14th.   Did you know that Valentines`s Day is the second most popular day of the year on which people exchange cards (surpassed only by Christmas) and that each year in the USA, an estimated 448 million dollars is spent on what the Americans call `candy` (aka sweets for UK readers). 

One more interesting fact associated with Valentine`s Day is that it is only in more recent times (and, by that, we`re talking centuries, not years !!) that sweets for Valentine's Day have become a popular gift.  The reason for this is that when Valentine`s Day was first introduced, sugar was such a precious and super-expensive commodity that it was well out of the financial reach of most people.

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Here in the UK, the way in which we shop has changed to an incredible extent in recent years and much of this is undoubtedly due to the arrival of online trading.

An article in the Independent earlier this year charted the current spend on mobile devices to be some £9.7bn, with Barclays predicting this to soar once we reach 2024 to an astonishing £53.6bn.

But what`s the cost of all of this to the traditional high street retailer – the guy who`s out there hoping to compete without an online presence?  In fact, is competing at all realistically possible?

Here at The All Occasion Sweet Shop we`ve gone about things a little differently to the norm.  We started our business online and progressed out onto the high street once the online side of things was up and running.  This approach has meant that we were already familiar with online retailing prior to embarking on what some would regard as a more conventional and simpler way of trading.

Other businesses in our field, Mr. Simms for example, seem to have gone about things differently again.  From what we see, Mr. Simms started life as a fairly small, one-off high street retail establishment, later franchising this model to produce dozens of similar shops nationwide, but there`s also an online presence to Mr. Simms which seems purely to be attached to the original core of the business and not the individual franchises and, sadly in recent months some high street stores seem to have lost their footing and been forced to close down (the wonderful St. Ann`s Square in Manchester branch of Mr. Simms being one really unfortunate example).

So, what`s the upshot of all of this?  Well, our view is that whilst there is a very definite demand for online trading, which ticks all the boxes in terms of convenience, etc. there is also, particularly where the retail sale of sweets and confectionery is concerned, a very real demand for shops which people can walk into and where they can experience the `feel` of the old-fashioned sweet shop, actually touching the products and revelling in all the wonderful scents and aromas of yesteryear.

As always, though, don’t just take our word for all of this .... if you have a point of view on this topic we`d love to hear from you.

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Can you believe that from today, Friday, 20th November, we have just 34 more shopping days left until Christmas?  And did you also know that next Friday, 27th November, represents what`s now called Black Friday? 


Well, both these facts are true, and when we realised this ourselves we quickly pulled together the following list of Christmas Gift Items designed to help take some of the panic out of your own Christmas preparations. 


On the left is a list of people you might currently be searching for a gift for and on the right is a suggestion from our own range which might point you in the direction of a solution.


Your Mum or Dad                                                                            Check out our Decades section

Brothers and  Sisters                                                                      How about one of our Sweets Gift Cubes

Your Wife or Husband, Girlfriend or Boyfriend                          Go straight to the Love section

Your Gran or Grandad                                                                    Either Pear Drops or anything Liquorice

Nieces and Nephews, Aunts and Uncles                                    It has to be the Jelly Candy Pizza

Your Best Friend                                                                               Anything costing more than twenty quid!

The Girls or Guys in the Office                                                       Try our Medium Retro Sweets Jar           

The Folk Next Door                                                                          A Liquorice Novelties Box

Your Child`s Classmates                                                                Refer to our Gift Bags section

Teacher                                                                                               One of our individual sweetie Jars


So, they`re you go ... total proof, we think, that The All Occasion Sweet Shop has it all when it comes to finding gifts for him, gifts for her, Christmas presents online and Christmas gifts with a difference.

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Christmas Sweet Hamper

Inspired to do so by the approach of the festive season, we`ve been delving this week into the history of the Christmas Hamper.

Rumour has it that the first gift hampers ever introduced into England were introduced by William the Conqueror, with the Victorians being said to have been responsible for bringing into being the traditional Christmas hamper, originally filled with enough food and drink to last a week and given as a gift to staff over the Christmas period so that they might enjoy the same delights as those they had worked for all year round.

Wikipedia charts the definition, not just of hampers generally, but also of the Charitable Hamper, the Christmas Hamper and the Commercial Hamper, and over the years there have been various newspaper discussions debating the usefulness and meaning of Christmas Hampers, including an article in The Guardian in December, 2011 and a blog-type inclusion in The Telegraph in December, 2011.

Over the years, the giving of traditional wicker hampers filled with luxury items has become more and more popular and the Christmas Hamper remains as popular today as it`s ever been, with hampers being given as a gift, especially at Christmas, to staff, corporate clients, friends and family.

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Following on from last week`s blog about National Chocolate Week, we promised a wonderful recipe for Sachertorte.  The recipe makes a Sachertorte big enough to serve 10-12 people and is great for any occasion, but especially, Bonfire Night and Christmas.


225g dark chocolate (cut into small pieces),  150g butter,  115g caster sugar,  8 eggs (separated) and 115g plan flour.


225g apricot jam and 15ml lemon juice.


225g dark chocolate (cut into small pieces),  200g caster sugar,  15ml golden syrup,  250ml double cream and 5ml vanilla essence.

Torte – Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4.  Grease a 23cm (9 inch) round spring-form cake tin and line with non-stick baking paper.  Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water and once melted, set the bowl aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy and then gradually introduce the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each yolk is introduced.  Beat in the melted chocolate before sifting the flour over the mixture and folding in evenly.  Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until stiff and then stir approximately a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it before folding in the remaining whites.  Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth it level.  Bake for around 50-55 minutes or until firm and cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out carefully onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely.

Glaze – Heat the apricot jam together with the lemon juice in a small saucepan until melted and then strain through a sieve into a bowl  Once the cake is cold, slice in half horizontally to make two equal layers and brush the top and sides of each layer with the glaze before sandwiching the two slices together.  Place the torte then onto a wire rack.

Icing – In a heavy saucepan mix together the chocolate, sugar, golden syrup, cream and vanilla essence.  Heat gently, stirring all the time, until the mixture is thick and smooth.  Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes without stirring at all until the mixture registers 95C/200F on a sugar thermometer.  Quickly pour the icing over the cake ensuring it covers the top and sides completely and then leave to cool.  Chocolate leaves may be used to decorate the top of the cake if desired.

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Did you know that here in the UK this week is actually National Chocolate Week?  National Chocolate Week is said to be the UK`s largest celebration of chocolate and the event, which started on 12th October, will end with a Chocolate Show at the Olympia National Hall in London during the weekend 16th to 18th October; (and who wouldn’t want to be there to see THAT show take place?).

Well, inspired by this (and also by the approach of Christmas which, for us, always means tuning in to Willy Wonka`s Chocolate Factory on TV whilst stuffing ourselves to the brim with chocolate at least once over the festive season!) we thought we`d focus this week`s blog entirely on chocolate.

Beans used in the manufacture of eating chocolate go through a number of processes on their way to becoming the delicious sweet melting stuff which millions of us adore.  This process includes mixing, refining, conching (or shelling to any non-experts like ourselves) and tempering, before the chocolate itself is ready to be moulded or used to enrobe things like nuts and fondant fillings.

Chocolate is enjoyed across the world, with many countries producing chocolate products which are familiar to us here in UK – Lindt, in particular, which is originally from Switzerland, is often seen gracing our sweet shop and supermarket shelves – and who in England would not recognise the triangular shaped box of the Toblerone bar?

Throughout history, chocolate has been reported to have strong connections with passion and love, with Casanova allegedly having believed drinking chocolate to be `the elixir of love`, drinking it instead of champagne for this very reason.  Chocolate is also thought by some people to have an immediately calming effect on the body and mind and there are many people for whom two or three small pieces of chocolate eaten once or twice a day are a very vital part of their daily routine.

Anyway, whatever your own views and beliefs about chocolate, one thing is certain, as a nation we eat literally TONS of the stuff every year and with this in mind, watch out for next week`s blog which gives a wonderful (though very naughty) recipe for Sachertorte – the perfect chocolate treat for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas.

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Coltsfoot Rock

As Halloween approaches and we prepare for the nights becoming longer and the days shorter, the sale of sweets within our business changes quite dramatically from sharp, fruity summery flavours to more comforting and, inevitably, more medicinal tastes.

Coltsfoot Rock is one sweet which rockets up the sales charts here in Lancashire at this time of year. 

Although quite dull in appearance, Coltsfoot Rock is a delightfully tasty, crunchy handmade rock product containing the natural extract of both the liquorice and coltsfoot plant.  There are few companies around who actually manufacture this most delicious of products and as far as we are aware sales are limited really to in and around the Lancashire area, or certainly to the North of England.

The company we obtain our Coltsfoot Rock from was established in Accrington in 1918 and they have produced Coltsfoot Rock to the same secret recipe for decades, with some people locally believing it to be good for easing sore throats and even Asthma.   Whether Coltsfoot Rock actually does possess the properties to help with either of these ailments, we`re not quite sure, but what we do know is that a bagful in the pocket during the dreary months of October, November and December certainly helps to raise the spirits and make the days seem brighter.  

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Did you know that Chewits, still one of the sweetie shop best-sellers of the present day, were originally manufactured in the seaside resort of Southport as far back in time as the 1960s? That`s not just an amazing fact, it`s also a very, very long time to keep people chewing!

The Chewits factory is still based in Southport and over the years has continued to produce Chewits chewy sweets in various forms and flavours.  Special edition ranges created over the years have included delights like Ice Cream flavoured Chewits, Rhubarb and Custard Chewits, Mint Chewits, Banana Chewits, Cool Mint Chewits and even Toffee Popcorn flavoured Chewits (introduced for a limited period in 2002 and described as `an American dream of a flavour).  The Chewits Xtreme range which has been produced more recently offers a sour alternative to the usual sweet Chewits and the range has in it some spectacular lines like Tutti Frutti, Apple and Pineapple (the latter of which, if you`ve never tried, you absolutely MUST in our opinion!).

In 2009, as detailed in Wikipedia, Chewits launched a Facebook campaign which was entitled `Chewie, the Chewitsaurus` and over the years the campaign managed to achieve more than 400,000 Facebook `likes`.

Chewits, in our view, are incredibly fun sweets which have been loved and adored by the young at heart (whatever their `actual` age) throughout the decades and right up to the present day.  Past advertising slogans for Chewits have included hilarious captions such as the `Chews Flash` and `Do it before you Chewit` (hey, their words, not ours ... we`re just letting you know what`s been out there!).

Check out the Chewits site today at for more amazing facts and stories or buy your Chewits online here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop with more flavours being added to our site very soon.

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A few weeks ago Clitheroe hosted Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain and this brought many new Customers into our shop in the centre of town and gave rise to conversation around particular sweets which are manufactured and sold in particular areas of the country and not in others.  One great example of this is Sarsaparilla

In Lancashire, Sarsaparilla (a distinctive and quite unique flavour made from a secret combination of red fruits and liquorice) is very well-known indeed.  In fact, we could probably challenge you to find a Lancashire Lass or Lad who has not heard of or tasted it.  Just across the border in Yorkshire, though, Sarsaparilla is a relatively unknown commodity and we`ve been asked many times by Customers to explain to them exactly what it is.

Here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop the Sarsaparilla products we stock and sell include Sarsaparilla Sticks, Sarsaparilla Lollies and Sarsaparilla Drops (both sugared and `naked`).  Several past producers of Sarsaparilla products have now, sadly, disappeared, including Mitre who used to be based in Burnley.

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Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms cereal, produced by a company called General Mills of Minnesota, was first introduced to the market in 1964.

Lucky Charms is a toasted oat cereal with a frosted coating combined with small coloured marshmallow (or mallow) pieces, which come in a variety of different shapes, including moons, stars, hearts, diamonds and shamrocks.  Lucky Charms are available in full boxes weighing 326g, small, 49g single portion perspex tubs and also in handy 24g `eat on the go` bars.  The outer packaging of each product generally has a bright crimson red background colour and the box itself depicts a cheerful-looking little Leprechaun-type chap on the front dressed in an emerald green outfit.

Lucky Charms are a favourite breakfast option over in the US and when it comes to American Cereals available in the UK they represent a wonderful, sweet and very colourful alternative to the usual breakfast foods we might associate with our own eating habits.  Whilst, like most cereals, Lucky Charms are associated with breakfast eating, they can actually be enjoyed at any time at all.

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Edinburgh Rock

Continuing our look this week at sweets which are manufactured in Scotland, our current blog focuses on Edinburgh Rock.

Edinburgh Rock is a distinctly crumbly sweet confection with a fresh fruity flavour and it can be sold either out of a traditional old-fashioned sweet jar as a `weigh out` sweet or packed neatly into little red and green tartan cardboard boxes which make the perfect gift.  In appearance Edinburgh Rock resembles standard cylindrical sticks of rock, but, unlike the usual brightly-coloured seaside rock most of us are familiar with, it comes in a wonderful pastel-coloured mixture of pink, pale green, yellow and white, with the weigh-out version being broken into small bite-sized pieces.

The variety of Edinburgh Rock which we stock, both in our sweet shop and within our online sweets retail business, is manufactured on the banks of the River Clyde in Greenock, Renfrewshire in Scotland and it is made by Gibbs – a sweet manufacturing company which dates back many years and which manufactures a wide range of other sweet delights as well as Edinburgh Rock, including Fruit Buds, Fruit Rounders, Berwick Cockles and Mixed Balls – all equally as delicious in our opinion.

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In our blogs between now and the August Bank Holiday, we want to take a look at some of the magnificent sweets which are manufactured in Scotland – and the first is Butter Tablet.  During our first year of trading we were constantly asked via our online sweets store whether we stocked Butter Tablet.  To be honest, having always lived in Lancashire and never having ventured much into the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Butter Tablet was something we`d never really heard of, but we did some research and finally managed to find a manufacturer in Scotland who was able to supply us .... and now we do have it in stock, it sells astonishingly well, both on-line and in our Clitheroe shop.

Butter Tablet is a traditional Scottish sweet which is manufactured mainly in Scotland and the variety we stock (Buchannan`s) is said on the pack to be made with pure dairy butter .... which, we`re guessing, is why it tastes SO, SO good.

If, like ourselves until recently, you`ve never actually tasted Butter Tablet then we recommend you give it a try.  Butter Tablet is a slab-type confection which is similar to fudge but with the sugary texture and consistency of old-fashioned cough candy.  It is golden in colour and, as the name suggests, it has a distinct creamy buttery taste.

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Spurred on by recent online articles relating to what happens to you immediately after drinking a can of Coke ... closely followed up by an article advising of the immediate after effects of consuming a glass of kale juice, we thought we`d take a quick look at the perceived impact of sugar.

It is often said that `you are what you eat` and whilst that`s true in some respects, enjoying a few sweet treats every now and again surely won`t result in us turning into a giant Pear Drop – or will it ?

The past year in particular has seen massive media coverage in the UK around the alleged evils of sugar consumption, whilst in America some people are taking a new look at sugar and an article featured recently in the New York Times detailed the way in which sugar is being reviewed as a more healthy alternative to the previously preferred synthetic sweeteners.  After all, sugar is essentially a natural product which is subject to a fairly simple production process, which involves no bleach.

For us, owning and running a sweets retail business selling sweets both on-line and also on the high street is very definitely a pleasurable affair.  Our mission in business is to bring a smile to the faces of all who visit us and sugar, inevitably, plays the major part in our achieving this goal.

Despite all the bad things being said about sugar just now, some things have to be said to be at least ` a little bit good`, do they not?  What about the fact that brightly-coloured, sugary sweets DO bring a smile to people`s faces, or the fact that sugar provides an instant source of energy, or the fact that eating sweet sugary things produces an overall feeling of comfort and pleasure which is seen by some to reduce the effects of stress?

Well, our conclusion from all of this is that a little of what you fancy definitely does do you good and that sweets, like many other things in life, are fine to be enjoyed in moderation.

For more information about sugar production, look up The British Sugar Association.

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If you were a child of the 1950s you will probably recall clearly the dull, depressing streets of the time which comprised mainly of long rows of very gloomy-looking `back to backs` - small terraced houses built literally back to back so that in all reality two families were sharing what today would be just one house, with hardly any space at all to move around inside.

On a brighter note, those of you who were around in the 1950s would also have witnessed  the Queen`s Coronation in 1953 with a spectacular ceremony held at Westminster Abbey, but only if you were very well off indeed would you  have been lucky enough to watch the Coronation on TV as there were very few televisions around at that time and only really wealthy families were fortunate enough to actually own one.

If you were a child of the 1950s, though, and you did have a TV set at home, you`d probably have tuned into modern TV delights of the decade like Watch With Mother and The Wooden Tops and if you were super-lucky you might even have been watching these with an odd sweet treat or two.

Sweets from the 1950s included things like Rowntrees Fruit Gums which were sold then in a small brightly coloured cardboard box with the face of a little boy on the front, the Munchy Crunch Bolero Bar and the Cadbury`s Dairy Milk Flat 20 (a small bright purple cardboard box containing 20 individually wrapped pieces of Cadbury`s Dairy Milk Chocolate).  1950s sweets still available today include Sherbet Fountains and Barley Sugar (as featured in our 1950`s Sweets Large Gift Box) and Liquorice Allsorts as featured in our Luxury Liquorice Hamper.

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If you were a child growing up in the 1960s you will probably, like us, have spent your summer holidays in the UK, rather than abroad, and probably either under canvass or in a caravan.  Nobody known to us in all our years of growing up actually left the country to go on holiday and anyone `posh` enough to have been able to afford a `proper` holiday would usually head off to Butlin`s.

Whatever your holiday destination of the time, your week away would have been made extra special by the various sweets consumed throughout the 7 days.  For us, the sweet soft texture of Edinburgh Rock (despite not knowing where Edinburgh actually was) was a firm favourite, with long twisty sticks of Barley Sugar coming a close second and if we were treated to a chocolate bar then our definite top three were Tiffin, Butter Snap and Aztec.

Other memories of the 1960`s include the 1966 World Cup when England beat West Germany 4-2 in the final to bring home the World Cup .... and The Beatles and The Rolling Stones dominating the charts with hits like Sgt. Pepper`s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road and Between the Buttons.

Whatever your memories of the 1960s, a decade sweets hamper full of all your favourite sweets from the 60's is one sure way to bring them flooding back.

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If, like one of us here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop, you were born in the 1960s and grew up in the 1970s, some of your clearest and fondest memories will probably revolve around sitting in front of the TV watching Sesame Street and seeing John Travolta and Olivia Newton John take to the local cinema screen in one of the most iconic movies of all time - `Grease`.

Both these pastimes would also, no doubt, have entailed munching your way through a sizeable pile of the all the various sweets of the 1970s era and we`re guessing the selection you enjoyed might have included delights such as Banjo, Cabana, Mint Cracknel and Mojo chews.  Sadly, all of these once well-loved icons have now disappeared completely from the sweet shop shelf, but some famous 1970s sweets which are still available include Curly Wurly, Kola Kubes and Black Jacks & Fruit Salads (as featured in our 1970`s Retro Sweets Hamper and Sweets from the 1970s Large Gift Box). 

Retro sweets from the 1970s make a wonderful, memory-evoking gift suitable for a wide range of occasions, including 40th Birthdays, 50th Birthdays.  They also make great Wedding Favours and help form the centrepiece of any retro sweet themed sweet buffet. 

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Were you a child of the 1980s ?  If so, you will probably recall the ultimate dining experience of the time to have been a bag of smith`s Salt n Shake Crisps (delivered to the recipient between two thick white slices of toastie loaf bread, each slice lathered with Stork margarine) followed by a big dollop of wobbly pink blancmange for dessert .... all washed down for good measure with a glass (assuming you were posh, that is ... otherwise it was straight from the bottle neck) of Cresta (advertised to us by the big white polar bear as “frothy man !!”).  Aahh, how good it is to reminisce.

Sweets of the 80s best remembered by ourselves include the usual favourites like Flying Saucers, Shrimps and Anglo Bubbly, but we were reminded this week in the shop of the wonderful  range of chocolate covered fondants produced by Fry`s and, in particular the Fry`s Five-Centres bar.

Sadly, like so many of the old-fashioned sweet shop icons of yesteryear, the Fry`s Five-Centres bar has long since disappeared, but it is still possible to include other favourites from range including Fry`s Chocolate Cream (in the navy blue wrapper), Fry`s Peppermint Cream and Fry`s Orange Cream and, whilst these examples don`t quite fall into the now super trendy `retro sweets` category, they are definitely classic sweets of the 1980s and, as such, deserve a well-earned mention in this, our latest blog.  

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We`ve written a number of short articles in the past relating to old-fashioned, traditional  and what might be termed `penny` sweets and amongst the favourites listed have always been the impressive aniseed flavoured Black Jack chews and their close `cousin` the super-fruity raspberry and pineapple flavoured Fruit Salad chews.

Each of these small-sized chewy sweet is similar in appearance, both being rectangular in shape and both wrapped in neatly folded waxed paper.... and in a decade which now long past, they both cost a penny each! 

When it comes to taste, though, the two are worlds apart and we were inspired this week to be contacted by someone running a poll for readers to vote for their own favourite between the two.

The poll forms part of a blog which is dedicated to Black Jack chews and absolutely everything in the world there is associated with them – from ingredients, to recipes and even a pictorial history of the wrappers which dates from 1920 right up to the present day; (which means, the humble, yet totally delicious, Black Jack chew is now nearing 100 years of production) ...... astonishing!!

Look up to join in the poll or to add your own comments.

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A hamper full of sweets makes an ideal gift and our sweet hampers provide the perfect centrepiece for the buffet table at any Party, Christening or Wedding.

A magnificent retro sweets hamper full to the brim with retro classics also makes a great corporate gift item and offers something which absolutely everyone can enjoy.

In our ever-expanding gift hamper range you`ll find a wide selection of Luxury Gift Hampers including Decade Hampers containing decade sweets from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, traditional sweets and retro sweets which are just about guaranteed to bring smiles to faces and to start people reminiscing.  We even offer an American Sweets Hamper including favourites from the American Candy and American Soda range and a Luxury Liquorice Hamper sent brimming with liquorice sweet items of every kind imaginable. 

So, for party sweets, christening sweets, wedding sweets, corporate gifting, birthdays, anniversaries or just plain fun ..... if you`re looking for a great selection of low-cost sweet hampers available online then you need look no further than here at The All Occasion Sweet Shop.

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Here at The All Occasion Sweet Shop we`re delighted to offer our Customers an extensive range of liquorice and liquorice-related products which we hope offers something for everyone.

We stock and sell, for example, Liquorice Root, Bassetti Liquorice Sticks, Liquorice Wands, Old-Fashioned Liquorice Sticks, RJ`s Liquorice & Chocolate Logs, RJ`s Natural Liquorice Logs, RJ`s Raspberry Liquorice Logs, Stockley`s Liquorice Rock, Liquorice Cream Rock, Liquorice Apple Stripes, Liquorice Banana Stripes, Liquorice Strawberry Stripes, Black and White Mints, Liquorice Allsorts, Pontefract Cakes, Liquorice Torpedoes, Liquorice Comfits, Liquorice Cuttings, Liquorice Pinwheels, and Blackcurrant & Liquorice boiled sweets, to name but a few.

From the entire range of sweets on our website and also in our shop, we think Pontefract Cakes are just about the oldest, having allegedly started life (in the town of Pontefract, as the name suggests) over 400 years ago.  Liquorice itself, however, is said to date back even before biblical times and its use as a mild medicine is as popular today as it`s ever been.

Did you know that natural liquorice is often bought as an aid to digestion and also to ease coughs and colds.  It is also said to be very useful in quenching thirst in situations where water is scarce.

We love liquorice and it seems the nation does too .... so get yours here today at The All Occasion Sweet Shop on-line or at our Clitheroe sweet shop.

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Father's Day

Father`s Day can leave us all searching around for inspirational gift ideas that don`t cost the earth ... and that`s where we can really help out.

If you`re looking to move away from the traditional old favourite gifts for Dad this year and on to something which is guaranteed to bring a smile to his face, then look up some of the great gift items we have available in our ever expanding hampers, jars and gift box range.

We feel we have some of the best ideas around when it comes to affordable Father`s Day Presents and with prices starting at under a tenner, you  can`t go wrong !

Recommendations include our Medium Sweet Jar for just £14.99, Lions Wine Gums Full Box for £24.99, the amazing No. 1 Retro Sweets Hamper currently available at an astonishing Special Offer Price of only £29.95 (normally £34.95), or our smaller-sized Retro Sweets Gift Cube which comes in at less than £10.00.

Don`t forget though .... Father`s Day is one of our busiest annual events, so help avoid any disappointment the main message to convey here is “Order Early” to make absolutely sure you`re all set and ready to go when it comes to Sunday, 21st June this year !

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Birthday Cake M & M's

In the weeks ahead we`ll be looking in our blog at the famous M & M`S range and in today`s blog we`re focussing, in particular, on the `Birthday Cake` variety.

Birthday Cake M & M`s are one of the more recent creations in the astonishing M & M`s range and they come beautifully packaged in a cheerfully bright sky blue packet.  Even the little M & M guy pictured on the front of the pack is dressed for the occasion with his party hat already in place and in his hand he is holding a big slice of birthday cake. 

When it comes to choosing from such a wide range of American Sweets and Candy on the market today, which sweet  could ever compare to the amazing Birthday Cake M & M`s when it comes finding a perfect Birthday Party Sweet Treat ? ...... (absolutely none, in our opinion !).

Birthday Cake M & M chocolate candies are made with real chocolate and each 1.40 oz (39.7g) bag brings you just 190 calories, which means they`re the perfect treat for any time you need one !

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Why have we in the UK become so totally hooked on American sweets & candy?  If you turn the clock back just over a decade or so we seemed never to have heard of American Sweets or American Candy .... and yet today we seem completely obsessed by it all !  We just can`t get enough of it !

Our own small business encompasses both a high street sweet shop (located in the little market town of Clitheroe in Lancashire) and also an online sweet shop at and in both respects we see the demand for American sweets (American candy) and even American drinks (or `soda` as it`s referred to across the pond !) soar year on year, without fail.

Favourites from the American range include Fluff (in all flavours, but mainly Vanilla Fluff!), M & M`s (especially Mint M & M`s), Hershey`s chocolate products (particularly Hershey`s Kisses and the Hershey`s Cookies and Creme Bar), Lucky Charms Cereal and Fanta Grape soda ..... but the absolute market-leaders, based purely on our own experience, are the Reese`s Peanut Butter range, Red Vines (including Grape Vines and Liquorice Vines to a lesser extent) and  Dad`s Root Beer.

Controversially, looking at the sale of UK Sweets over in America, there were press reports during the early part of 2015 to suggest the blocking of Cadbury`s chocolate products so that people having moved over there, desperate to get their hands on a Cadbury`s chocolate bar would be hugely disappointed !!

Well, why not get in touch and give us your opinion as to why American Candy has become so popular here in the UK .... and let us know what`s your favourite from the American Sweets and American Drinks range.

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A & W Root Beer

Very sadly for ourselves and for many of our Customers too, there have been problems recently with certain varieties of `soda` being imported from the USA with regard to ensuring full compliance with various EU regulations. 

For this reason, A & W Root Beer (one of our absolute best-selling drinks) has been withdrawn from sale by some of the wholesalers we use because they cannot import it without great difficulty and, unless we can find an alternative wholesaler who is actually able to import A & W Root Beer in line with the relevant regulations, we will very sadly not be able to offer this product again in the near future.  This is devastating news and we are doing our absolute best to overcome the problem.

A & W Root Beer started life in America as far back as 1919 when a young entrepreneur began producing the distinctive drink and selling it at the roadside as a means of refreshing people there at the time to celebrate the return of Soldiers from World War 1.

With this amount of history behind the product, surely there must be some way around the EU regulations now blocking sales, but in the meantime we have recently started stocking Dad`s Root Beer in our Clitheroe Shop and will shortly be adding this product to our website.  Watch this space !

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Sherbet Dip Dab
The widely renowned and truly iconic Sherbet Dip Dab is produced at the present time by North of England confectionery manufacturer, Tangerine.  Previously manufactured under the brand name of Barratt, the Dip Dab, like many other similar products, now bears the Candy Land logo.

The Sherbet Dip boasts that it contains natural colours and flavours and it is described on the front of the packet as a `sherbet dip with a tasty strawberry flavour lolly` and on the reverse of the pack as `lemon flavour sherbet dip with a strawberry flavour lolly`.  Said to be manufactured to a classic recipe the Dip Dab contains a range of ingredients all of which are felt suitable for vegetarians.

The Dip Dab is considered unsuitable for children under 36 months of age and each individual 23g pack provides 0.1g of fat, 0.1g of fibre, 0.5g of salt and a total of 89 kilocalories. 

.... all that wonderful information in and on one little red and yellow paper packet.  Amazing, eh !!

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Anglo Bubbly

Anglo Bubbly
(or Anglo Bubblegum, to give it its `Sunday name`) has to be one of THE most famous and THE most memorable retro sweets from the 1970s and `80s .... it`s certainly the one we remember most here at The All Occasion Sweet Shop

Here are some facts you may not know about the famous Anglo Bubbly:

Anglo Bubblegum pieces are small, round and flat, pale pink in colour, dusted with icing sugar and they come with a distinctive and quite unique fruity pear flavour.

Anglo Bubblegum contains only natural colours and flavours and each full counter box contains a total of 240 individual pieces.  The outer packaging tells us that Anglo `blows bigger bubbles` and on the side of the box there`s a message urging chewers to dispose of their Anglo Bubbly responsibly (and quite right too !! .......... i.e. - no sticking it to the underside of school desks,  etc. !!).

Anglo Bubby is manufactured in the North of England by the Tangerine Confectionery Company, who are based in Blackpool and the ingredients of Anglo Bubbly are sugar, glucose syrup, gum base, invert sugar syrup, humectants (whatever that might be ?!?), sorbitol syrup, flavouring and natural beetroot red colouring.

So, there you go ..... a tiny snapshot of the life and times of the ever-famous Anglo Bubbly .... a product which, we think anyway, is one of the most famous bubblegum products ever to show up in the confectionery market-place.

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For anyone out there who actually does not know what Vimto is (VERY few people in that category, we think !!) ...... Vimto started life in 1908 as a mixed-fruit flavoured soft drink and it was known then as Vimtonic (a drink designed to provide vim and vigour !).  But the brand name Vimtonic was soon shortened to just Vimto and this name has stayed with the brand right through it`s life and up to the present day.

Nowadays, the Vimto range is simply HUGE.  From a sweet shop point of view, the Vimto product selection includes a myriad of exciting products which encompasses traditional sweets and retro sweets classics such as Hard Boiled Sweets, Chewy Sweets, Bon Bons, Chew Bars, Lollies and Popping Candy.  Added to these old-fashioned sweets, though, there are new lines such as Vimto Candy Floss, Vimto Spaghetti, Vimto Skidaddles, Vimto Fizzy Rippa Belt, Vimto Tongue Tinglers ...... the list just seems to go on and on and if  you`re a fan of what`s often described as the `totally mixed up fruit flavour` then you`re definitely onto a winner !

Amazingly for us, the Vimto brand was actually dreamt up just over 10 miles from our Clitheroe Shop, in Blackburn, Lancashire (you might remember the Beatles singing about it !!) and the chap responsible for this wonderful creation was John Noel Nichols who was himself born in Blackburn on December, 28th, 1883.

We wonder what on earth John Noel Nichols would think if he could return to Blackburn for a day today and see the astonishing heights his original fruity tonic has been taken to ?  He`d be as amazed as we are, we expect.


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Uncle Joe's Mintballs

Uncle Joe`s Mintballs
 are handmade and they are produced by Wm. Santus and Co. Ltd. – a sweet manufacturing company which began life in 1898 and which has been passed down over the years through five generations of the same family.

Here at The All Occasion Sweet Shop, we are lucky enough to have the Wigan-based company who make Uncle Joe`s Mintballs located almost on our doorstep and we do sell lots and lots of these old-fashioned retro sweets in both our high street shop and also via our online sweets retail business.

In a time when people are striving to improve their dietary intake and to avoid artificial colours and flavours, Uncle Mintballs are continuing to grow in popularity every bit as much as they have over past decades.  The reason for this is that this is one little old-fashioned sweet, still hand cooked on a traditional open fire, which is made using entirely natural ingredients.  Uncle Joe`s Mintballs contain no artificial colours or flavours and they are GM Free, Gluten Free and suitable for Vegans.

Uncle Joe`s Mintballs were created, well over a hundred years ago, to offer a feeling of comfort and warmth to people whilst they were out and about and the tag line for the Uncle Joe`s Mintball is that they `Keep You All Aglow`  .....  and to find out if that`s definitely true, just suck one and see !!

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From `Old-Fashioned Sweets` to `Retro Sweets` Read More
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Joseph Dobson was an orphan who had been brought up in the care of his Grandparents since the age of 10.  Joseph set up business in the sweets industry West Yorkshire in 1850 having gained an interest in sweets from working previously for sweets manufacturing company in York.

Joseph Dobson's Mega Lollies 

Today, a full 125 years later, the firm, which has been handed down through the family and is currently known as Joseph Dobson and Sons, continues to produce a wonderful range of traditional sweets and retro sweets– one of which is the famous Joseph Dobson`s Mega Lollies.

Joseph Dobson and Sons` Mega Lollies come in a hugely creative array of flavours and the range is being constantly expanded to include new and exciting tastes.  Recent additions include Buttered Popcorn, Raspberry Ripple, Root Beer and Blue Raspberry, whilst the original range boasts more traditional retro sweet favourites such as Toffee, Sarsaparilla, Iron Brew, Lemon Meringue and Cream Soda – to name but a few !

Perhaps one of the best things about Joseph Dobson and Sons` Mega Lollies is that the entire range is suitable for vegetarians and is both gluten free and halal approved.

Each full jar of Joseph Dobson`s Mega Lollies contains 90 individual hard-boiled lollies and each lolly is long-lasting and mouth-wateringly delicious.  Full jars make great party sweets or wedding sweets.

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As the Sweet Shop R.I.P. list continues to increase in length, year on year, we wanted to take a look back at what we ourselves consider to be SIX OF THE BEST from the sweets confectionery range of yesteryear which are sadly now long gone. 

Aztec Bar

Launched by Cadbury as far back in time as 1967, the Aztec Bar was a wonderful mixture of milk chocolate, caramel and nougat – a bit like a lighter, more milky version of the well-known Mars Bar.

Closest surviving relative today = we think there`s only the ever-famous Mars Bar which is similar.

Cabana Bar

A key feature of most sweet shops during the 1980s, the Cabana was a delectable mix of lush coconut and creamy caramel incorporating glace cherry pieces , all covered in milk chocolate.

Nearest thing to the Cabana Bar today = in our view the closest thing is just the Bounty Bar.


Mojo Chews

Small rectangular chewy sweets in a range of fruity flavours which came all wrapped up in folded waxy paper bearing the `MOJO` logo, the Mojo had to be just THE `penny chew` of decades past.

Probably the best alternative available today = Fruit Salads or Black Jacks (made by the same manufacturer).


Riley`s Toffee Rolls

Launched to the sweets market as far back as 1907, Riley`s Toffee Rolls were made famous by Riley

Brother`s of Halifax.  Sadly, after two changes in manufacturer, this product was eventually withdrawn from manufacture in the 1990s.

Our recommendation for a really good alternative = Buchannan`s Chocolate Caramels



Square-shaped hard-boiled fizzy fruity sweet in a range of flavours with a circular indentation in the centre and a shiny, slightly translucent `spangly` appearance when held up to the light.

Probably the only thing anywhere near these today to be honest = Fox`s Glacier Fruits



Simple in appearance and entirely white in colour, Pacers (originally named Opal Mints and sitting on the sweet shop shelf alongside their close cousin, Opal Fruits) were a great-tasting spearmint flavoured chewy sweet made by Mars.  Unfortunately, Pacers hit the R.I.P. list in the 1980s.

A realistic modern day possibility in our opinion = Chewy Mints

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We`ve been shocked in recent months to learn of the manufacturer`s decision to gradually start axing certain flavours of the iconic Wham Bar.  The Wham Bar, which boasts `Super Fizz` and is described as a `Tongue Tingling Chew Bar` , has had its original range slashed from the five great flavours available up to and during 2014 .... down to JUST ONE!  Can you believe it?

Wham Bars 

Some months ago we watched in utter dismay as the Sour Apple Wham Bar was withdrawn from the range because of an apparent reduction in sales and as 2014 drew to an end, we were devastated to see the Strawberry Wham Bar and Cola Wham Bar suffer the same fate. 

Nothing could have prepared us, though, for the unbearable news received just last week from the manufacturers themselves that the well-loved and truly iconic Wham Brew Bar (Wham`s Iron Bru flavoured chewy sensation) had finally been withdrawn from sale .... leaving just the Original Wham Bar, in its distinctive blue wrapper, surviving cuts at the time of writing this Blog.

The All Occasion Sweet Shop has been selling Whams at a tremendous rate since our business first started life and from our own point of view they are as much in demand today as they`ve ever been. 

Watch this space for a possible future campaign aimed at BACKING THE BREW WHAM BAR! 


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This week`s Blog focuses on Chewits – a sweet brand first introduced to the sweets retail market in the early 1960s.

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Described on the 28g pack as `Tutti Frutti Flavour Candy Coated Bubblegum.. Read More
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The Great British Tuck Shop

Great British Sweets really are a true representation of the long-standing love affair we Brits have had with good old fashioned sweets and sweet confection throughout the decades.  Is there another nation on record, we ask, with a love of sweets which is greater than our own?  We think not!

The history associated with British Sweets is astonishing and it`s really, really interesting.  Did you know, for example, that the humble humbug can be traced back in time to as early as the start of the 1800s ... or that Jelly Babies were originally introduced to the market as `Peace Babies` in 1918 to celebrate the end of the First World War, only becoming known by their present name during the 1950s.  Well, if you didn`t know these most crucial of facts, at least you are safe in the knowledge that you do now!

Traditional British Sweets are, and we think always will be, at the very centre of our daily lives.  After all, what would a trip to the cinema be without a huge bagful of what must be just about THE most expensive sweet on earth (aka cinema-bought `Pick N Mix`)? ... what would a visit to Grandma and Grandad`s house at the weekend be without the offer of a good old-fashioned Pear Drop or two?... and what person alive has not munched their way through an entire bagful of Lion`s Midget Gems whilst swatting up for those all-important end of term school exams?!

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Hands up if you stayed in at home last Friday night and tuned in to Room 101 on TV..... Read More
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Maxilin, a confectionery manufacturing company based in Bolton in the North of England, have been producing sweet confectionery from as far back as the 1940s and they are famous today for the production of the totally delectable and truly delicious Maxilin Flyer.

Maxilin Liquorice Flyers 

Flyers, for anyone out there who has never had the absolute delight of sampling them,  are neat little liquorice tubes filled from end to end with uniquely flavoured sherbet crystals.  Flyers were originally available in just one variety, but in more recent years the range has been extended to include some super flavours such as Strawberry, Blackcurrant and even Tango Orange.

From decade to decade, Maxilin have continued to produce their famous Flyers using a traditional, old-fashioned method of manufacture and they are made from only the finest, mainly natural ingredients.

According to Maxilin `The Magic`s in the Middle` ..... and there`s only one way to find out if that`s true ........ grab yourself a pack today and SAMPLE THAT SENSATION ! 

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From the very first day our business opened, we`ve had lots of people asking us whether or not we sell Mojos.


Mojos, for anyone out there who doesn`t actually remember them, were, in our opinion anyway, just about one of the coolest sweets ever to feature on the sweet shop `penny tray` during the 1970s and 1980s.  They were small oblong chewy sweets made in different flavours and each one came neatly wrapped in a printed waxy paper which was folded into a triangle at each end and, so that each little rectangular sweet looked like a tiny, perfectly wrapped parcel .... and, once the wrapper was peeled off, they most certainly didn`t disappoint.


Astonishingly, and for reasons we are completely unable to fathom, Mojos were taken out of manufacture around twelve years ago, but the Lancashire-based company responsible for making them did carry out a short re-launch of this retro classic  around 2011 / 2012.  For some strange reason, though, the re-launch was deemed unsuccessful and ended after just a very short time, making the revival or the Mojo a short-lived event and sadly we`ve been without them ever since.


Here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop, we think there should be a campaign to “BRING BACK THE MOJO” , because in our opinion it holds a well-deserved position right up there with the most sought after retro sweets of all time.  This week alone we`ve had six separate enquiries for the sweet !


Without the Mojo, anyone looking for a chewy sweet which will revive those happy childhood memories of growing up in the 70s and 80s will be restricted now to the Fruit Salad (a small oblong chewy sweet, again wrapped in waxed paper, which is around the same size as the Mojo and comes with a super fruity raspberry and pineapple flavour) the Black Jack (which is the same size and shape as the others, but has a strong liquorice / aniseed taste) or the larger-sized Refresher Chews (more than twice the size of a Black Jack or Fruit Salad and which has a sharp lemony taste and a fizzy sherbet centre).  And, whilst all these three sweet shop favourites are equally delicious in their own right, there`s definitely, definitely, none in our opinion to match the magnificent Mojo !

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Wonka Bars

Wonka Bar 

We just happened to be tuned in one night last week to a well-know TV show called Baggage Wars, and, given our inevitable interest in all things sweet, we were delighted to see a Wonka Bar pop up on the screen !  

The show, for anyone not familiar with it, relies on individual dealers purchasing sealed bags and boxes containing unknown items which they then hope to be able to sell on to make a profit.  Anyway, one of the guys on the show last week purchased a sealed up brown cardboard box for a price of $130 and when he opened it one of the items inside was a rather old-looking, but still in apparently great condition, Wonka Bar.  The bar was fully wrapped and had the packaging bore the unmistakable Wonka logo.

The guy took the bar to a specialist who advised that it could be one of two things – either a cardboard film prop or an actual chocolate bar used as a film prop and that it would almost certainly be from one of two dates in time – either 1971 where it would have featured in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film released at that time starring Gene Wilder ... or as late as 2005 when the film was re-released to star Johnny Depp. 

The specialist went on to say that, depending on whether the bar was actual chocolate or cardboard and dependent upon its age, its value could range very significantly and could even run into four figures; (wow, anyone paying that price really would have to be bonkas for Wonkas !!).

Well, as the intrigue grew, the specialist delivered his verdict and the bar, it turned out, fell into the lower price bracket as, whilst it was made from actual chocolate, it dated back only as far as 2005 when the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Film was re-released and, because this film did not attract anywhere near the same following as the original version, the bar was deemed to have a price tag of around $300. 

Still a great return for the dealer`s investment in our view, but not quite the gold ticket he had been hoping for !  Better luck next time, eh.


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Bonfire Night, which falls on 5th November each year, commemorates the capture of Guy Fawkes after his plot in 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament and overturn the Monarchy and the event is now one of the most celebrated nights of the year here in the UK. Read More
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This Halloween, our advice is to forget the Tricks and focus entirely on the Treats! Read More
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Well, it`s just 17 more days now until we reach Halloween !  Here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop we love Halloween and all the wonderful things which are associated with it, so it`s really great news for us that Halloween celebrations have grown in popularity so much in recent years.
Halloween Hamper

Our shop on Moor Lane in Clitheroe sits in the shadow of Pendle Hill - a well-known landmark which is at the centre of some great Halloween events each year.  According to Wikipedia, Pendle Hill has a famous association with the Pendle Witch trials of 1612 and there is a Bronze Age Burial site at it`s summit, which is 557 meters above sea level.  Each year on Halloween, crowds of people gather, many of them dressed in Halloween Costume and they carry candles and hold Halloween Feasts to celebrate the event.

Looking back at the history of Halloween, did you know that the name Halloween (or Hallowe`en) is an abbreviation of the term All Hallows Eve and that the occasion is thought by some to have Pagan roots.  The Celts used Halloween to mark the end of the harvest season and still today some people eat just fruit and vegetables on Halloween in memory of this tradition.  Apparently, that`s where Toffee Apples started life !

Today, though, the celebration of Halloween has become much less about ghostly, ghoulish goings on and more about candy, fancy dress costumes and fun events taking place around the country and if you`re attending one such event then why not take along one of our astonishing Halloween Hampers or prepare in advance for Trick or Treat with our great value Swizzel`s Matlow Retro Gift Box.   

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Stuck for fun ideas for the next kids' party you're planning? We've got it covered. Here, we've compiled a list of some simple and easy-to-organise party activities that will keep the kid's entertained for hours. Read More
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Beat the back to school blues with these delicious, fun treats. The perfect addition to any lunchbox, and guaranteed to put a smile on the kids’ faces for the rest of the day! Read More
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Entice your taste buds with our selection of American sweets. From tangy Wonka Nerds to deliciously soft, creamy Twinkies and a vanilla Coke to wash it all down, our American range is definitely worth a try! Read More
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Find out all about our Candy Cart- great for weddings and special occasions! Read More
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Treat your wedding guests with a colourful selection of retro sweets, delicious hampers and pretty favours. From Lovehearts to giant lollipops, we've the perfect selection for centre pieces, gifts and keepsakes. Read More
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Everyone loves cupcakes and everyone loves Flying Saucers. So we decided to merge them in a delicious simple recipe!

As always, please read, devour and feel free to send us pics of your sweet creations!

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Wow !  Celebrity Interest in the All Occasion Sweet Shop !

We were delighted last week when Paddy McGuinness posted a message on Twitter in response to some old-fashioned sweets we sent to him and even more pleased when this resulted in us being mentioned in our local newspaper. You can find the article in The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times.

Paddy had sent out a Tweet to his fans talking about some of the sweets he best recalled from childhood, mentioning Sweet Peanuts, Anglo Bubblegum and Nut Brittle in particular. 

The Tweet gave rise to great interest from Paddy`s followers and there were lots of Tweets back from people reminiscing about traditional sweets which nowadays we refer to as `vintage` or `retro sweets`.

Our specialism is rekindling memories of the old-fashioned sweetshop by putting together everything from a 100g bag of weighed out jar sweets to huge hampers full of the traditional, old-school sweets which people recall from their own childhoods and we sent Paddy a gift box containing some of our best sellers.  Paddy posted a picture of the box we had sent to him on Twitter and the story was picked up and reported on by the Advertiser, which was really great !

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With the Glastonbury Festival just over, there are a huge number of Summer Outdoor Events and Festivals taking place during the month of July and what better to take to one of these than a top of the range wicker hamper filled with traditional sweets or specially designed gift box brimming over with retro classics from our unique range.

Create a `WOW` amongst the crowds this Summer with our Whopping Retro Sweets Hamper Carnival Case or entertain the kids for hours outdoors with something out of the ordinary like our Summer Holidays Sweet Hamper available now at low cost.

If you`re watching the Tennis, then push aside the strawberries and cream for a while and indulge in something different with a wide array of deliciously fruity sweet treats with our red and shiny Retro Sweets Gift Box which comes packed to the brim with a wonderful selection of sweets from Swizzel`s Matlow.

So, whether it`s Wimbledon or the Tour de France you`re watching, outdoor theatre in your local park, one of the many magnificent outdoor music events which taking place this summer  ...... or simply an afternoon out in your own back garden with the kids during the summer break from school, why not brighten up the day with something sweet and delicious from our amazing range.

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End Of Term Gifts and Ideas

Well, it`s fast approaching that happy time of year when “school`s out”, as they say, and children across the country can sit back and look forward to that well-earned long summer holiday break.

Attitudes have changed greatly over the years when it comes to End of Term.  As a child growing up in the 1970s and leaving school in the early 1980s, reaching the end of term for us meant departing the classroom for the day at lunchtime, rather than at half past three in the afternoon and the likelihood of becoming the target for a flour bomb on your way home !

There was no such thing back then as taking into school a gift for Teacher on the last day of term .... let alone gifts for all your Classmates.  Today, though, influenced some of the end of term activities taking place overseas, taking in a gift for Teacher on the day children finish for their summer break is common practise ..... as is the presentation of gifts for each of your friends and even everyone in the class.

Here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop, we hope we`ve made this newly-developed tradition both simple and affordable by putting together a range of sweetshop gifts specially designed for End of Term.

Check out our End of Term Sweet Hamper which provides a myriad of sweets for the entire class, plus an individual pre-boxed gift for Teacher ...... or our red and shiny Retro Sweets Gift Box.  We even do a Whopping Tuck Shop Mix Retro Sweets Jar which is full to the top with small individual packs of sweets, enough to go round the whole class two or three times.  Or, if you`re just looking for a Teacher Gift on its own, then what better than our Retro Sweets Gift Cube.

So, whatever your end of term needs, we`re here to help with sweet hampers, sweet gift boxes and sweet jars delivered directly to your door ..... and all at great prices.

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When we opened our high street sweet shop in April of last year, we had no idea how popular a confectionery item liquorice actually is. The number of requests we get for it from Customers visiting our shop is amazing and the history of Liquorice is amazing too!

Bassetti Liquorice Sticks

Liquorice was first introduced to the public through chemists as a medicine in the same way as Coca-Cola and Lucozade. This piece of information fits in well with our own situation as the shop in which we have just opened our high street sweet shop had, prior to falling happily into our own hands, operated as a Chemist shop for a great many years, so it all seems to fit quite neatly really. 

Demand at the present time is for everything from Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts and the ever-famous 'Bassetti' Hard Liquorice sticks to Barratt's Liquorice Wands and Old Fashioned Liquorice sticks, Liquorice Novelty boxes, Liquorice Cream Rock, Liquorice Fruit Stripes, Liquorice Satins, Liquorice Cuttings, Pinwheels, Comfits, Torpedos and Black & White Mints and not forgetting the hugely popular Pontefract Cakes (or Pomfret Cakes as they're sometimes referred to).

Pontefract cakes, as the name suggests, were first manufactured in the Northern town of Pontefract – a town which is now home to the hugely famous and ever-popular Haribo Sweets Manufacturing Company – using a process in which soft liquorice was formed into little rounds or 'cakes' and stamped to make what looks like the round wax seal on an old fashioned letter (think, Harry Potter). From the entire range of liquorice we sell, both in our high street sweet shop and also our sweet shop online, Pontefract cakes have to be the most popular!

If you love Liquorice, be sure to check our Liquorice Hamper which is one of more popular hampers in the range! 

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Valentine's Gift Ideas

Is there a better way of showing someone you love them on Valentine's Day than giving them a delicious mix of sweets? As an old-fashioned, traditional and at the same time modern day sweet shop selling a wide range of Valentines sweets both on the high street and online, we don't think there is!

As far as Valentine's gifts are concerned, sweets and sweet-related confectionery products rank within the top 3 of the most favoured gifts, with an estimated 1 billion (can you believe that?! ONE BILLION!) individual sweets being consumed around St. Valentine's Day each year, that's a lot of sweets!

To help give you some ideas we've kindly put together a list of our best sellers around this time of year below. 

1. Cherry Kisses (aka Juicy Lips)

2. Lovehearts Rolls / Lovehearts Minis

3. Haribo Hearts

4. Lovehearts Sherbet Dip

5. Flumps

6. Strawberry Millions

7. Raspberry Millions

8. Loveheart Lipsticks

9. Jelly Beans

10. Kola Kubes

We also have a great selling Valentine's Gift Box which has been revamped to look even better this year! 

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Retro Sweets
We were talking in the shop last week about Coconut Mushrooms ..... an iconic retro sweet from the past which, it seems, everyone remembers and most of love ..... but where on earth did these little gems of confection originate from ?? ....... and, more to the point, why ?? After all, what on earth would possess someone to develop such an item and for what reason ?? Of all the sweets on our sweetshop shelves today, the Coconut Mushroom seems about the most unusual ..... with a small jelly-like chewy blob, extremely well coated in desiccated coconut, forming the cap and a pure white fondant, super sweet and sugary stem.

Well, we`ve done some research, and as `facts about the Coconut Mushroom` go, it has to be said that information is fairly thin on the ground. So we`ve challenged our Customers in the shop today to give us their own take on the product and to let us have any information they happen to have to hand ...... and here`s what came back:- Of 30 people asked, 27 said they loved Coconut Mushrooms, 2 said they hated them and one was indifferent.

Everyone we spoke to said they remembered them from the past and one of our Customers was able to vouch for them dating back over 30 years.


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The difference between `sherbet` and `kali` is a subject which sparks constant debate at the counter of our sweet shop in Clitheroe and it seems that depending on just where you happen to have been born and raised, the two commodities conjure up some very different expectations!!

Here in Lancashire, in the North of England, if the product in question is fine and powdery and creates a cloud of dust as you open the packet, then it is without doubt Sherbet (e.g. the Sherbet Fountain, the Sherbet Dip Dab and that amazing fizzy white stuff that forms the centre of any good Sherbet Lemon or Sherbet Strawberry). If, on the other hand, the product is heavier and more crystal-like and doesn`t leave the packet without you helping it, then (to a Lancashire Lass or Lad anyway) it`s definitely Kali !! (e.g. Rainbow Crystals and the wide array of individual fruit-flavoured crystals which sit alongside them on our sweetshop shelves).

From what we can glean through limited research, the term `sherbet` apparently first originated way, way back in time as far away as Turkey and was used in that region to describe a refreshing fizzy drink .... and this is strange, because only last week one of our Customers told us that as a kid, growing up in the 1970`s / 1980`s, he used to stir a spoonful of sherbet into a glass of water to make what sounds to us like a very primitive form of fizzy `pop`!!!

Anyway, whether it`s Sherbet or Kali ..... and whether it`s consumed using the wetted end of your finger, a dipping lolly (as per the Dip Dab), a stick of liquorice (or Spanish) like in the Sherbet Fountain ..... or even stirred into a glass of water if you feel so inclined ....... in our opinion it`s all fabulously delicious ........ and life just wouldn`t be the same without it!!

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There can`t be many of us around who have not, at some point in life, found themselves completely dumfounded as to what to buy as an appropriate gift for, say, a milestone Birthday or a special Anniversary.  You want something they`ll really appreciate .... which will raise a smile when they open the parcel ....... which they won`t already have ten of ...... which won`t be stuck on a shelf or in the back of a cupboard for the rest of eternity ..... which won`t break the bank as far as your own finances are concerned ...... which they can either share with family and friends, or indulge in all for themselves ...... and which you can lay your hands on without having to spend the whole of your one real day off in the week off trawling round crowded town-centre shops.

Well, here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop we have a range of options which we feel can tick all of these boxes and a few more besides.  40th or 50th Birthday coming up ? ..... then look up our 1970`s Retro Sweets Hamper, 1980`s Retro Sweets Hamper  or  our Remember the 70`s  or Remember the 80`s Retro Gift Boxes packed full of amazing sweets guaranteed to evoke some wonderful memories and create a great talking point for months to come !!  A special Wedding Anniversary where there`ll be a huge gathering of family and friends ?? ..... then why not really push the boat out with our Whopping Carnival Case ??  Friends who are celebrating a new arrival (like Kate and Will) ?? ...... then our No. 1 Hamper just has to be the perfect thing !!!  A difficult-to-buy-for Dad with a Birthday coming up that he doesn`t really want to talk about ?? ........ then why not discretely send him one of our Luxury Liquorice Hampers to enjoy in his own time ??  The list really is endless ......... and if you don`t see exactly what you`re looking for in our current range, then the solution is simple ....... just drop us a quick e-mail or give us a call and let us know your requirements and we will take things from there !!!  It`s as easy as that !! 

Also, in the weeks ahead we`ll be making some key changes to our website aimed at making the Customer experience even simpler and more enjoyable than it is now ....... and once this is done we`ll be more doubling our range of retro sweet hampers and gift boxes in time for Christmas ........ so "Watch This Space" as the saying goes !!! ....... and in the meantime, don`t forget to contact us if you need help in finding that special gift without having to depart the comfort of your own sofa !!!!!!

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With Father's Day, on the 16th June this year, being just over a week away, we thought we'd throw out a lifeline to all those out there who are still pondering what best to invest your money in and looking for a gift which won't break the bank, but will, at the same time be guaranteed to raise a smile. Well, our sweet treats tick both those boxes and a few more besides!!

If your Dad just loves liquorice then why not try our Luxury Liquorice Hamper which can be delivered straight to his door for a total price, including delivery, of under £30.00 ?? ...... or, if your Dad was born any time around the 1960s, '70s or '80s, then why not treat him to one of our Decade Retro Sweet Hampers crammed with all the favourite sweet shop sweeties from the time he`ll have been growing up and guaranteed to bring a million happy memories flooding back !! If you're working with a lower budget, though, and want something for less than a tenner, then check out our Father's Day Retro Sweet Cube .... designed especially for Father's Day and selling out fast at the moment through our Clitheroe Shop ...... or, for under a fiver, look up our Retro Sweet Jars which come brim filled with a huge range of sweet options such as Jelly Beans, Black Jacks, Coconut Tobacco, Wine Gums, Barratt`s Shrimps or Bananas, Icy Cups ...... the list is almost endless and there`s bound to be something there to make your Dad's Father's Day extra special .... and, better still, you don't even have to move away from the comfort of your own sofa to sort all this out ....... just choose, press a few buttons and let the All Occasion Sweet Shop do the rest ....... so, we do the work and you take the praise ....... how`s that for a great deal ?!?!?!?

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Wow !! What a week we`ve had here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop. Not only are we in process of opening up a wonderful new sweetie shop on the high street of a local town (look out for further details coming soon !!) ..... but on top of that we were approached on Tuesday by the well-known travel company Kuoni Travel and asked to help them in putting together a magnificent prize for their 10,000 Twitter follower competition due to reach an end on Tuesday of next week... so head on over to Twitter @KuoniTravelUK to be in with a chance of scooping this fantastic prize as shown below.

To enter the prize draw, simply retweet the sweetie picture with the hashtag #10000sweets.


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Only one entry per person. The prize winner will be the first entry drawn at random after the draw closes on 26 March 2013 at 12pm.

The prize includes UK delivery to one address of 10,000 sweets. The prize is supplied by All Occasion Sweet Shop.

  • Two wicker hampers each containing 600 individually wrapped, pick ‘n’ mix sweets
  • Two sweet shop drums each containing 300 flying saucers
  • Four sweet shop display boxes of Wham Bars each containing 50 bars
  • One sweet shop display box containing 400 Fruit Salad chews
  • 480 rainbow dust straws
  • Two glittery gift boxes – one containing 720 individually wrapped minty flavoured sweets and one containing 720 individually wrapped fruity flavoured sweets
  • Two sweet shop drums of Rainblow Bubblegums, each drum containing 180 bubblegums
  • One sweet shop box of Love Hearts, containing 600 individual sweets
  • One sweet shop box of giant Parma Violets, containing 600 individual sweets
  • Two giant clear cookie jars containing a fizzy mix of Swizzel’s Matlow individually wrapped sweets – 1600 sweets in total
  • One giant clear cookie jar containing a total of 1200 jelly beans
  • One last giant cookie jar containing 1300 Haribo Golden Bears

The prize winner will be announced on 26 March 2013 at 4pm.

The competition is open to residents of the UK and Eire. Employees of Kuoni and their families, households and agents are not eligible to enter. Usual promotion rules apply.

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Well, we`re finally starting to leave the winter behind us and can look forward now to spring, which brings Mother`s Day and an early Easter (at the end of March this year).

Here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop we`ve had a fair few requests of late to come up with a trendy, retro alternative gift for Mother`s Day or an Easter Gift with a difference which offers a more unique and inspiring alternative to the usual chocolate egg or cheap and cheerful, but entirely predictable, Easter Bunny-Rabbit.

So, how about a funky, glittery retro sweet gift box packed full of amazing goodies or a luxury liquorice sweet hamper for those more keen on liquorice than chocolate?  Or, what about an entire sweet shop sweet jar filled to the brim with a favourite from the past from our large, and ever-increasing range of sweetie jars and old fashioned retro sweet shop sweets.

Whatever your budget or whatever impression you want to create, if you`re looking for a gift with a difference and which can make a difference, then look no further than the All Occasion Sweet Shop, a sweet shop for all occasions, where you will always find something bright and interesting and which ticks all the boxes !!   


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Well, it`s reaching that time of year again where the type of Valentine`s gifts you decide to purchase can either make or break the next few weeks !!! Get it right ..... and life will be a blissful dream !! Get it wrong ...... and, well, the consequences hardly bear thinking about, do they ?!?!? That`s why, here at the All Occasion Sweet Shop, we`ve developed some unique and unusual gifts designed both for him and for her, which are just about guaranteed to hit the mark - whether you`re out to impress someone relatively new in your life ..... or you`ve been together since the time some of our decade sweet hampers are designed to commemorate !!!  Valentine`s Day gifts and the sending of cards, etc. to celebrate this special day is something which goes back more years than most of care to remember, but in our own lives today it`s what happens `now` that counts so check out our Valentines range here and make someone`s Valentine`s Day complete with a delicious range of fabulous retro sweets !!!


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The Black Jack !!! A retro sweet classic of all time. Read More
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A Little inside into Lion's Midget Gems... Read More
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Well, here we are again, blogging happily about the glorious subject of Retro Sweets !!

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No1 Sweet Hamper blog! Retro sweets through the ages.....

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Wimbledon`s got off to a flying start this week, which we`re all grateful for after England`s chances in Euro 2012 were dashed on Sunday night..... and after all this we`ve got the Olympics to look forward to in July !!!!

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Are you crazy about cola bottles? Delighted by double lollies? Longing for Liquorice? Well you’re not alone; here at All Occasion Sweet Shop we’re shameless about our love of all things sugary!

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