O'Ryans Village Archive Page
Saturday, September 3, 2011
"It just won't be the same" I heard rattling around in my head. When i read the story on Yahoo! News. Labor Day weekend just won't be the same without Jerry Lewis, Jerry's Kids, all the stars, the Firefighters marching across the stage with boots full of money for MDA. Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Chicago. There all going to be a little quieter towns this year without the MDA Telethon buzzing around the "Love Network".

How many times over the years have we said to ourselves, "It just won't be the same"? Fact is, things from our past are continuously disappearing. Things that hold fond memories for us, like TV shows , friends, and even places. The stores or malls that we hung out at close up or worse yet get torn down. Things change and we move on and find new things that become fond memories.

I used to sit with my Mom on Labor Day weekend watching Jerry Lewis and his guests put on the show to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. We would be getting 5 star entertainment for 21 1/2 hours. Never once during the show did he let us forget why he was there and why we were watching. He was always  there to help the kids afflicted with these deadly diseases. I waited for Mom to give me the OK to pick up the phone and pledge. I felt good and grown up. Little kids don't always feel like they're important or doing anything important, giving up my $3.00 allowance made me feel that I was doing something good. It made me feel lucky and blessed.

Some say that after Jerry and Dean Martin split up, he felt unimportant and unsuccessful. And he used the MDA to find higher fame for himself. Whatever the reasons, he helped make a horrible situation a lot better. Some people just can't let good a deed go unpunished. I'm afraid now that the fan fair is gone, the ones that will truly suffer are the kids that are already struggling with the day to day pitfalls of this disease. Hopefully someone of the new generation of celebrities will step up to the plate and make it their cause. No, It just won't be the same, but maybe it can still be good.

Click here and make a pledge to MDA.

Have a Sweet Day!

O'Ryans Village

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Friday, September 2, 2011
Yep, Politicians are even divided on candy at times. I don't know if it's split down party lines or just personal preferences. Celebrities of all types are often quite open about their favorite candy. Now I don't have any specific news stories to cite, but there have been several news reports and essays written on the candy and snack cravings of the the rich and famous. We have even fulfilled orders for some famous peeps. Pardon the pun. Let me run down a few for you.

  • Former President Ronald was a well known Jelly Bean craver. His favorites were Jelly Belly. Not known exactly what flavors, but I would take him as a straight forward old fashion jelly bean guy. Maybe like butterscotch, cherry and orange.
  • News reports circulated at one time that we almost lost 'ol George W. to a popcorn mishap, only to be saved by his trusty canine? Maybe it was even carmel corn. Dodged a bullet there W.
  • First hand report here. We sent a big tub of Red Vines Licorice on orders from a posh European hotel once to none other than Madonna. I understand that Red Vines are a requirement wherever she stays. There concierge store must have been out of stock. O'Ryans Village had them. Our list of celebrity customers also includes Eddie Murphy and Jerry Bruckheimer.
  • Now Michael J. Fox is political, but not a politician. His role in the 80's sitcom Family Ties as Alex P. Keaton was that of a staunch Republican. Ironically his favorite candy are Circus Peanuts, also favorite food of the GOP mascot? Hmmm.
  • Robin Williams is bonkers about Bazooka Bubble Gum, or just plain bonkers maybe. Some of the characters he's portrayed even resembles Bazooka Joe. I wonder if he read my post on Great Bubble Gums from a few weeks ago?
  • Another former President, Bill Clinton gets a hankering for Paydays quite often. Let me clarify, Payday salted nut and caramel candy bars. He says he craves a crunchy, chewy, sweet thing once in awhile. Sorry Bill, we prefer Pearson's Salted Nut Rolls.
  • Tom Hanks is quite fond of Boston Baked Beans. Just good solid candy there, don't know that I would expect anything different than that from him. Although I do recall him tearing into a box of chocolates in one of his flicks.
  • And Finally we have Alan Alda. It's said the he favors Black Licorice Bites. He's never pushed any certain brand or type. They just have to be sweet, chewy, and a little bitter. Sounds a bit dramatic to me.
There you have it. A peek into the lives of the famous. Push the power and millions aside and we find that they share the same favorite candies and snacks as the rest of us. Hopefully I haven't ruined it for you and your carmel corn. 

Thanks for reading and Have a Sweet Day!

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Thursday, September 1, 2011
You know for years the powers that be have been discussing year-round school. Some areas of the country have even adopted such plans. How successful ? I don't know. Nobody's getting excited about back to school time, that's for sure. Mom keeps asking, "When do you go back?", "When's THIS break over with", "Do you need pencils, or notebooks, or cellphones or something soon?". Sounds confusing. Most places still deal with the traditional school year. Having most of June, July, and August off to drive Mom crazy.

Our schools reconvened Yesterday. I am one of the lucky ones who has to endure about 10 blocks of my morning commute passing one of the High Schools. I commute about 35 miles in the morning with the High School being just off the beginning of my drive, get past those 10 blocks, and the other 34 miles are a piece of cake. Onto the interstate, through 8 miles of bumper to bumper construction traffic, toll booths, 80 mile an hour idiots, past a shopping mall and amusement park, 8 lane road past a 5000 employee pharmaceutical and lab complex, stuffed down into 2 lanes of "Urban City" traffic waiting for a train and I'm there. Piece of cake. All that, and all I think of every morning is "How can I detour myself around the High School without going out of my way?" Good thing that on the opposite corner of the High School is the Police department's favorite donut and coffee stop. I think they're there on purpose.

So to precede this annual event, preparations must be made! Just remember Mom, you don't have to ask what they need, they will tell you. The kids will tell you all the really important things that they need for back to school. Not pencils or notebooks or slide rules, but the really important things. Stylish clothes and shoes, cellphones, laptops, and iPods. Now it's your job to get the other important things. You know, the stuff they need to get passing grades, stay safe, and be nourished. Things they don't think about until they need them. All the Big Box stores like Target and Best Buy and Office Max will tell you or better yet, sing to you, what your kids need, you'll be sure not to miss a single detail.

 O'Ryans Village is a little more low key. We lay out a real easy to navigate store full of great little surprises that you remember as a kid. Get the kids off to school, grab your beverage, and type in www.oryans.com, pick out what you like, notice the 7% back-to-school offer on the home page (coupon code school11), add it to the cart, and submit it. One of our friendly staff will pack it up, send it off, and it'll be at your door before you know it.

Here's a few suggestions from some other Moms:

The 7% is for you, not them. They already got all the really important things thanks to you.

Stash your little cache of goodies for your time. And Have A Sweet Day!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
There's old saying that holds true probably as much now as when the phrase was coined who knows how many years ago. "The more things change, the more they stay the same".  Social Networking on the Web has taken the world by storm over the last 5 years. It was reported last week that Facebook served up over 1 Trillion page views in June. Accurate figure or not, it's still being debated, that's a lot of of Hellos. Comments to people that we enjoy making contact with. Point is, we still want to do the same thing, we just change how we do it. Some good old fashion things are too important to us to let them slip away so we find better ways to do them. We find new ways to socialize, eat food, spend time with our families, and communicate.

Being a candy store, obviously I'm going to relate to something in the line of treats. Of course, it's what we do, it's our passion. An old time treat manufacturer that's changing things up on a new level is our friends over at Fizzies. Not Alka Seltzer, the Fizzies drink tablets that make a fizzy Kool Aid type drink for you when you plop, plop them in water. Most of you are familiar with the traditional flavors of this drink. Lemon-Lime, Cherry, Root Beer, and the new Hot Cocoa flavor. Now, just in time for that Autumn, chilly night time of year, we bring you Hot Apple Cider Fizzies! Yep. Plop, plop these in hot water like you'd make your tea and Voila, you have Hot Apple Cider flavored Fizzie. No alcohol like the real stuff can contain, just the great flavor of Apple Cider but with a fizz.

If you've read any of our recent blog posts you may notice that we're getting awful pumped about Fall heading our way and Hot Apple Cider Fizzies are no exception. Such a great time of year looking forward to the coming Holidays that we all enjoy after the warmth of Summer starts to fade. If you get a chance check out the Fizzies and all the other great nostalgic candies in our store. Maybe there's something you've been looking for and didn't know if it was still around or where to find it. We can even help you plan a Holiday party or event.

Thanks for reading and Have a Sweet Day!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
When you own a small business there is always some job to do, usually because there is no one else to do it or no one else that wants to do it. So... You do it. One of the jobs that I like to do is candy reviews. Not that I'm an expert or anything, just I own a candy store and I like candy. So I take it upon myself to occasionally try something and let everyone know what I think of it. Definitely a perk of the job. Sometimes it's new, old, obscure, or reinvented.

Today I thought I would try out the reinvented or new if you rather, Slo Poke candy bar. It used to be a sucker, but that's changed for various reasons. Read my view on the New Black Cow Candy bar for those insights. So we go from a big 'ole sucker lollipop thing to a bar. All in all I think it's a good thing. So here I am, sitting at my desk, chewing on this delicious carmel candy bar, trying to be objective and type all at the same time, while attempting to keep the keyboard clean. Boy! This thing is good.

Now, I prefer the twist off a hunk method being that it's almost impossible to bite off a chunk. Pinch and twist off an end and drop it in your mouth. The Slo Poke is definitely caramel, where as the Black Cow is more of a taffy. This stuff is sticky. But oh so tasty. The Slo Poke also freezes well if you prefer  the crack it up style of enjoyment. The Slo Poke is more like the original sucker who's name it carries sans sucker stick, whereas the Black Cow is a great candy, just not a lot like it's original.

Enough of the side by side comparison, just had to know for myself. The New Slo Poke is a wonderfully reinvented old time candy. The foil wrapper sure does keep it nice and fresh compared to the old wax paper way. Classic Caramels is the manufacturer of Slo Poke just as the Black Cow is. The company has done a real nice job of taking a fabulous vintage candy and adding some modern touches to it to make it an even better treat.

I tested the Slo Poke in 3 different ways:

  • First I took a Slo Poke and threw it in the freezer overnight. Probably a bit much, a few hours will do. Then I cracked it against the counter firmly, but not wildly. The foil will tear I imagine. Upon opening the package, I had a zillion pieces (OK, not a zillion, but a lot) which I leisurely picked out a couple  at a time and rolled around the candy in my mouth until it was soft enough to chew. The flavor actually seemed to change as it went from cold to soft and chewy. Quite a sensation and it prolonged the fun factor.
  • Second method. Just tore another one open and proceeded with the pinch and twist style that I eluded to earlier. Pretty self explanatory. The rich flavor and texture is immediate gratification for the impatient types in the crowd. Just get right down to it. Outstanding.
  • Now the third method was a real stroke of genius if I do say so myself. Listen up. I was at the grocery store over the weekend and they had some pretty good looking Golden Delicious apples that had just a little blush to them. So I handpicked a few of the best ones and brought them home. So. I'm sitting here writing this review and it struck me like a lightning bolt. Caramel and apple? Where have I heard that before? I've got about half of this big Slo Poke left, it's getting all warm and soft in my hand. I set it down, head into the kitchen, and peel , seed, and quarter one of those rosy, Golden Delicious apples. Grabbed my my half of a Slo Poke left and wrapped a big piece of it around one of the apple pieces. Wow! Oh, and I took it a step further. How do you go further than that brainstorm? I reached over by the toaster and picked up the cinnamon sugar shaker and shook a bit of it on the next piece of apple, THEN, wrapped the Slo Poke around it! That's good enough for a regular, do it all the time treat, and maybe even to impress your friends. They'll give you an A+ for creativity. 
There you have it. Great candy, great ideas. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading, and Have a Sweet Day!

O'Ryans Village

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Fizzies have come out with two new flavors just in time for Fall. Hot cocoa fizzies are one of the flavors that just came in and I have to admit I was a hesitant on whether or not I would like them. I was pleasantly surprise at how great they taste.

Fizzies drink tablets were a very popular candy in the 60's & 70's and are now made by
Amerilab Technologies Inc. which purchased the trademark in 2006. They are known as the Alka Seltzer candy, as you drop the drink tablet in water and watch it fizz just like an Alka Seltzer. They are a healthy alternative to soda's as they have 100% RDA of Vitamin C , low in calories and are sugar free.

Normally fizzies are dropped in to a glass of cold water, however with the hot cocoa fizzies you place them in hot milk. Before you know it you have a delicious cup of creamy hot chocolate. It's pretty amazing that just one little candy tablet can make such a great drink.

I love hot chocolate and it seems that is my favorite winter time drink. As the weather continues to cool off I am sure I will be drinking more cocoa then usual. I think the next time I have some I am going to try adding two tablets, however that might be overkill, but I have to give it a try.

These hot cocoa fizzies will be available for a limited time only. Each box has 8 individually wrapped tablets and retails for $2.99. Hurry and get yours today.

If you were a kid growing up in the 60's and 70's and have enjoyed fizzies as part of your childhood share your stores with us and our readers. We would all love to hear your experience with these yummy drink tablets.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011
To any of you who have been reading our blog lately knows that I've been kind of pushing the Seasons, Summer season that is. I'm such a fan of cooler weather that I've almost leapfrogged Labor Day in my mind and landed squarely into Autumn. My deepest apologies to all you Summer lovers out there.

So to be fair to all the Seasons, I thought I'd do a little post on Labor Day. Quite honestly, Labor Day is a pretty great Holiday. The weather is usually good, unlike poor Memorial Day who usually gets rained on. Spoiled BBQs, everyone crowded in the house and the men hanging out under an awning by the garage. Labor Day weather usually is good, all the flowers are at the peak of their glory, the lawn is like a big green carpet and the breeze carries the aroma of all the cookouts in the neighborhood mingling above everyone's yard.

Hosting the Labor Day festivities gets passed around the circuit of family and friends. We have in recent years gained in the family department. Our Sons are adults now and have the families of their wonderful women. Lucky for us, both families are super people and everyone gets along well and we enjoy each others company. So over the Holiday weekend we have gatherings at a variety of places. Everyone has fun and the weekend buzzes by.

The Labor Day Holiday is about just that, The labors of the American worker. It gives us a much deserved 3 day weekend, an extra day off for what we do to keep the wheels moving. It's our day and we choose to spend it camping, traveling, staying home at our castle sharing it with the ones who mean the most to us. It's almost like Thanksgiving in the summer time. Instead of Turkey and stuffing, it's brats, burgers, ribs, chicken and potato salad and baked beans.

Everyone brings something to the party to share. Mom's famous potato salad, maybe Aunt Lucille's odd desert that no one can describe but everyone loves. I make a pasta salad that gets requested every year. But being in the candy business we also have the duty to bring along some fun summertime candies. Gummy hot dogs, gummy hamburgers, and gummy soda pops are always expected by the kids when we arrive. They take them apart and reassemble before eating them. The Moms quite often hold the gummys and the candy hostage until after the real food is eaten.

We have all types of Summertime candy to share with your party. If you can't be there for the party, just click on www.oryans.com, order it up or give us a call and we'll send it to the party in your place.

Thanks for reading and Have a Sweet Day!

O'Ryans Village

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