Story by Jenny Paulson – Taffy’s owners announced on their 38th anniversary on June 1st, and that they have spent almost four decades selling Pueblo’s finest old fashioned assorted candies and sweet treats from their shop on West Abriendo Avenue in the Mesa Junction.
Taffy’s is one of Pueblo’s most beloved institutions and the place intends to continue to remain a staple for many years to come – and likely will, because Taffy’s is a part of the tradition of our city that next generations are taking to.
At Taffy’s it’ll feel like you are walking back in time. The place hasn’t changed much for locals that remember hanging out at in the day. The shop is stocked with classic, old fashioned treats (many of the same ones that Puebloeans remember buying with their pocket money when they were kids themselves), as well as new twists on old favorites like chocolate strawberries and seasonal sweets.
Retro candies were in fashion when Taffy’s current owners bought a former candy store at the location they are still at, in 1981. While trends have come and gone, their staple candy, ice cream, malts, milkshakes, candy apples and sweets have continued to be at the top of the list of local favorites. In fact, there seems to be a new craze for retro candies, not just in Pueblo, but in the entire US.
Go into Taffy’s, and you’ll get old-school aromatherapy from their huge selection of heavenly delights, including chocolates, gummies, chewing gum, and sugar candy – hard candies, cookies, brownies, soft candies, caramels, marshmallows, taffy, seasoned popcorn, snow cones, lollipops, ice cream, soda, limeades, root beer floats, caramel covered apples and other snacks, many of which are paid for by the weight or piece.
Decades after many Puebloeans enjoyed this iconic candy shop when they were young, as parents and grandparents, they taking their kids and grandkids to the place they fondly remember growing up. The shop’s following is phenomenal, as evidenced by their over 9,000 likes on Facebook. Loyal customers have nothing but raving reviews about Taffy’s.
“I remember my high school days, going to Taffy’s after school with my best friend – driving the ’65 Mustang, windows rolled down, talking about what flavor of snow-cone and ice cream cone we were going to get that day,” a Pueblo native said at one online review. “Thirty-some years later, making a stop at Taffy’s is a must for me and my girls when going to visit my parents.”
The candy and ice cream shop is not just popular with locals, out-of-towners visiting family, doing business or vacationing in Pueblo, have grown fond of Taffy’s, an old school shop, that just can’t just be found anywhere, and that our city is lucky to have.
Ken and Lynda Connors bought Taffy’s, which was previously named then Sambo’s (owned by the Corsentinos), and have ran the business at this historic part of Pueblo ever since.
Locals remember when the now dollar store on Abriendo, was once a skating rink (Skateland) and how they’d take breaks for snow cones, candied applies and popcorn next door (at Sambos, now Taffy’s). Pueobleans also remember grabbing popcorn and shakes from the shop, then heading to the drive-in in the County for movies.
Sam Corsentino’s son, Dan (our former Sheriff), wrote the following about a year ago on FB: “…my father and mothers business (Sambo’s) from 1948 to 1981 maybe into early months of 1982. It brings back so many memories …. My sister and I grew up in the apartment two doors to the South facing the alley for our first 6 years. Our parents Sam and Julie who have now passed worked tirelessly to serve all their customers who they loved.”
Taffy’s has won the best of Pueblo candy shop, the best guilty pleasure and the best summer refreshments, for years, but how popular they really are is evidenced by the almost always jam packed waiting area (sometimes even lined outside the store), where employees greet their valued customers in a friendly manner, serving them with favorites, as quickly as possible.
Keeping this mom and pop bastion going takes a lot of work and expertise, as many of their treats are cooked locally at their full-blown candy and treat making operation in back of their classic counter. Some of their products are made with heirloom recipes, and can be difficult and time consuming to make, so Taffy’s owners rely on their specially trained cooks.
Daily, Taffy’s cooks create batches of delicious treats such as caramelos, candy apples, peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered strawberries, nut clusters, chocolate-caramel turtles, favored popcorn, and items that makes it hard for a local to chose a favorite.
Taffy’s changes it up by season. During Halloween, popcorn balls are the most popular. And on Valentine’s Day, it’s chocolate-covered strawberries that locals favor. And during the summer months, their big seller is ice cream, shakes, malts and their famous banana split.
Taffy’s is a must stop in Pueblo for an old fashioned candy counter that locals intend to keep in business in a town that loves their old school establishments. They are located at 114 W Abriendo Avenue and are open seven days a week.
Taffy’s on FB – https://www.facebook.com/pg/TaffysInc/
Be sure to join our Pueblo Eats group for all things Pueblo-food – https://www.facebook.com/groups/PuebloEatsAndEntertains/