Growing up in my grandmother's grocery store in Welchs Creek, Ky, it didn't take long to realize that not all products are available nationwide. People would drive from far and farther, all the way to this little hick country general store to buy items. These items seemed to transfer to precious commodities or gold once the travelers began inquiring. Oh, and what a terrible shame if the store was currently out. Could it be the end of the world?
Of all these items Peach Nehi was the most precious of all. This extremely sugary (33 grams per 8oz serving), artificially peach flavored soda was supplied by Royal Crown Cola. It was first started by Chero-Cola, then changed it's name to Nehi Corporation, which a few years later became Royal Crown. People would drive over 100 miles just to by this soft drink. Others would mail Peach Nehi to their love ones in other states. Some people would pick it up while passing through or visiting relatives. Peach Nehi is still being made today. Now it's bottled by Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc.
Of course what trip wasn't complete without some Helm's Candy. The most popular being, peanut butter broken stick candy. Behind it was the old fashion assorted mix. For the little ones, there was King Pops suckers.
Also made by Helm's, was an extremely popular boxed sugar stick candy called Virginia Beauty. Most popular in the Welchs Creek in order of demand; cream, peppermint, assorted, and horehound (yuck). Helm's candy is still making these same quality items that have been around for over 100 years.
Less popular but hard to find, was flavored taffy called Kits and BB Bats. Made by the same company, Kits came in 4 small individually wrap pieces and the BB Bats came as one piece on a sucker stick. People would have my grandmother order these by the cases.
A Kentucky general store wouldn't be complete without Moonpies! These marshmallow fluff cakes came most commonly in vanilla, banana, and chocolate. When Moonpies are placed in the microwave they grow in a matter of seconds. Taste good warm but a too long in the microwave turns a delightful treat into a rubbery pile of goo. Which brings me to the next local favorite.
Goo Goo Clusters were in very high demand at one time. It seems there on the end, there was a bit of a decline. Still a local favorite. The Atkinson Company items were another common item ordered by the case. Atkinson is the maker of Chick-O-Sticks and Peanut Butter Bars. Very yummy candy when fresh but hard a rock when stale.
One of the most popular picks for the kids was candy cigarettes. Which, by the way are still being made. These are little white sweet chalky sticks with red tips (hence the cigarette flame). These are now called candy stixs. I can't for the life of me understand why these are still being produced. I can remember me and my cousins getting these, sitting on the porch, then pretending to be older and fabulous, then pretend to smoked our candy stixs.
Those are the ones that stand out the most. There are however, plenty more candies, such as Lemon Heads, Bit O Honey, and Slo Poke. Still very common to see someone buy a Coca Cola Classic in a glass bottle, a bag of salted peanuts, pour the peanuts in the coke and drink away.