Candy has been around since the cave man, who would eat honey off the honey comb. Over 3000 years ago, chocolate became known when the cacao trees reached the tropical lowlands of southern Mexico. It was then that cacao began to be used for culinary purposes. Candy as Americans know it has been around since the 1800s. The first packaged box of Whitman’s Chocolate hit the scene in 1854. Gatlinburg, TN is known for their numerous local candy stores. Candy Stores have been in Gatlinburg since the 1930s. Downtown Gatlinburg is the right place to be for a delicious homemade sweet treat. There are many myths about candy, but none as infamous as the myth that there is no such thing as healthy candy. The truth is, many treats such as lollipops, candy canes and gummies have no cholesterol or fat, making them a healthier treat than many people realize. Gum drops, most licorice products and many hard candy varieties are fat-free and have little to no cholesterol, plus, they are low-calorie. For example, a cup of candy corn contains fewer calories than the same amount of raisins.
Salt Water Taffy is a big candy item here in the Smokies. The first recorded documents of Salt Water Taffy are dated from the late 1800s. Salt Water Taffy got its name in 1890 in Atlantic City, New Jersey when an ocean wave came ashore one night filling Mr. Bradley’s candy store on the Boardwalk full of ocean water. The next day, a small girl came into the store asking Mr. Bradley if he had any taffy. He replied, “Yes, I have salt water taffy.” Mr. Bradley’s mother overheard his remark and thought the name fit perfectly. In the early 1900s, this new candy was seen at County Fairs and soon many stores were opening. Salt Water Taffy came to the Great Smoky Mountains in the early 1950s and has since been a big attraction for travelers. Is it real “salt water taffy?” You decide.
Below is a list of local candy stores in Gatlinburg and surrounding areas.
- Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen-774 Parkway, Gatlinburg,TN 37738
- Glades Homemade Candies- 1402 E Parkway #9, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Kilwin’s Chocolates- 645 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Mountaineer Kandy Kitchen- 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Peaches Sweets and More- 849 Glades Rd., Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Aunt Mahalia’s Candies- 611 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Unbearably Sweet- 651 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Log Cabin Candy Kitchen- 329 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Old Mill Candy Kitchen-177 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
- The Funnel Cake Co.- 631 Baskins Creek Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
- Country Candy Kitchen- 3341 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
- Smoky Mountain Candy Makers- 2880 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
- The Lollipop Shop of the Smokies- 3609 Outdoor Sportsman Pl, Kodak, TN 37764