Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Candy Shops Rock

Dizzy Cow - ParentUnplugged - Stacy Snyder

Who remembers the old-school candy shops with glass containers holding volumes of hard candy, sugared concoctions, chocolates, and packaged favorites like Sugar Daddys, Snowcaps, and Lemonheads?  Many of us have blocked those rites of childhood out of our minds because we have no modern-day form of reference to keep the alive.

Dizzy Cow is here to remind you of sweet days gone by and to allow you to introduce the concept to a new crop of candy lovers.  Located in the North Center neighborhood at 2155 W. Irving Park Road, between Leavitt and Hamilton, this stained glass window storefront is chalked full of your favorite candies and treats.  Picture various sized packages of multicolored gummy bears wedged between huge pieces of peanut brittle and malted milk balls stacked high in mason jars.  Imagine lolly’s as big as your face saddled up next to bags of chocolate stars and pop rocks.  You name your heart’s desire, and Dizzy Cow has some rendition of it.

Proprieter Margaret Reynolds bought the building last summer and keeps the shop stocked with loads of bonbons, toys, and novelties, all housed in classic furniture or displayed on antique servers.  It’s one of those magical places where every step you take gives you another reason to ooh and ahh.  From the vintage Coca Cola machine to the 1950’s Ruth E. Newton rubber dolly to the bubble gum cigarettes for sale next to the vintage cash register, each encounter prompts nostalgia for a time that was easy, where the biggest decision for a kid was should I get  the big Baby Ruth or go for a Chuckles and a Tootsie Roll?

Dizzy Cow - ParentUnplugged - Stacy Snyder
My daughter and I happened into Dizzy Cow a few week ago and we were so enthralled with the store, its shopkeeper, and its potential future (think back-of-the-store milkshake counter in the summer doubling as a cocoa bar in the winter), that I went back twice in the following week for gifts and treats.  Reynolds’ enthusiasm for candy and all things vintage came across loud and clear in her vast selection, moderate pricing, and her personalized suggestions.  She offered us samples while we were browsing, pointed the kids to the bargain rack with the $1 bags when she saw I was paying in quarters, and pointed us in the direction of her favorite chocolates.

The sugar treasures and trinkets at Dizzy Cow are a must see.  If you’re cuckoo for candy, it’s a no-brainer.  Go now.  If you don’t have a sweet tooth, check out this local business for its antiques and kid-oriented merchandise such as tea sets, homemade doll clothes, toy water guns, and slinkys.  If you want a place for your kids to hang out after school where they can be a candy-loving kid instead of a coffee-guzzling morph of an adult, send ‘em in on their own with a few bucks where they can buy a pair of candied wax red lips, a dice game, circus peanuts, slinky, or army figurine candies.  The store is open Tuesday - Friday, 1-6pm and Saturday 10am - 4pm.  For more information on current inventory and events visit Dizzy Cow’s FB page or call Margaret at the shop at 773-706-6187.