Candy is dandy down by the ocean

July 14, 2023

Just last weekend I had the pleasure of listening to a (brilliantly produced…) radio show featuring the new owner of Rehoboth’s sugar-centric staple, Snyder’s Candy. The store has already made a name for itself, having been honored by Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine and Food Network magazine.

And no wonder! With the guidance of former owner (and local broadcaster) Jeff Balk, Greg Kalinsky stocks row upon row of sweet memory makers, including hard-to-find gems like Abba Zaba (made famous in the movie, “Half Baked”), Blackjack and Teaberry gum, Clark Bars, Necco Wafers (been around since 1843!), Sky Bars, Zagnuts, Curly Wurlys, Mary Janes, wax lips and mustaches, just to name a few. Snyder's also carries over 100 varieties of licorice, including double-salt Dutch (it’s an acquired taste) and Finnish, Australian, Spanish, Italian and Australian imports.

But it’s not all about vintage at that tiny storefront on Rehoboth Avenue’s ocean block; Greg stocks all the latest goodies including more than 75 kinds of salt water taffy (don’t miss the pickle flavor and the chicken & waffle flavor), Slime Lickers and bizarre freeze-dried versions of Skittles, gummy bears, sour worms, Starbursts, Junior Mints … I’ll leave it at that; I don’t want to give away all the surprises. (But you can see more at

Just a few steps west, Michigan-based franchisor Kilwins has been making people smile since 1947, and they make — in-house — what I believe to be the best caramel in town. All the fudge in their cases is produced from scratch right there in the store. The dark chocolate pecan and cashew turtles are not to be missed (by the way, call them Snappers, lest you get a nasty letter from Russell Stover). Or take home a marshmallow on a stick, cloaked in caramel and rolled in chopped pecans. And don’t miss the toasted coconut or the salted caramel ice cream. Oops… and the peanut brittle. Govern yourself accordingly.

Though the landmark sign now lives on the canal side of the Rehoboth Beach Museum, Dolle’s is still downtown, just a few steps west of that iconic corner location. This longtime Rehoboth Beach (and Ocean City, Md.) staple still uses the hulking taffy-making machines that crank out the tubular treats. In 1962, those very same machines had to be rescued from the sand with tow trucks after the devastating nor’easter leveled Dolle’s Boardwalk store. Speaking of caramel corn (were we?), whose is better: Dolle’s or Fisher’s? (By the way, both had their start in Ocean City.) You don’t need to tell me. I already know.

It’s hard to forget Candy Kitchen, mainly because there’s one pretty much everywhere you look. I can’t pass up the colorful fruit slice jellies and the King Tut fudge. By the way, fudge freezes just fine. I learned this out of necessity.

Just east of First Street Station is the very pink and very Austrian Kaisy’s Delights. The very French owner Thierry Langer whips up a sweet pancake you can decorate with tasty toppings. The official name for the confection is kaiserschmarrn, but you can just ask for a Kaisy. In fact they encourage that. Oh, and they have great coffee.

Another (relatively) new kid on the block is Kit Gabby. He morphed the old Christmas Spirit in the second block of The Avenue into the new and colorful Sugar Planet. His attractive displays tempt with multiple containers of candy, more than a dozen flavors of fudge, plus taffy, jelly beans, gummies… you name it.

Kohr Bros. soft serve has been on Rehoboth Avenue since around the time the ocean was installed. In between the two stores (one north, one south) Chip Hearn’s The Ice Cream Store vies for the strangest flavor names around. Live dangerously! Try Motor Oil, Tastes Like Viagra and I Don’t Give a Fork (order that one, and you actually get a fork).

Archie’s on the Rehoboth Avenue end of Penny Lane has expanded to the north side of The Avenue, thus doubling your chances of scoring their unique style of ice cream and fresh lemonade. Speaking of brain freeze, Double Dippers on N. First Street is also one of the acknowledged late-night sources for Hershey’s cones and sundaes. OK, that should get your sugar rush started. You’re at the beach! Enjoy!

  • So many restaurants, so little time! Food writer Bob Yesbek gives readers a sneak peek behind the scenes, exposing the inner workings of the local culinary industry, from the farm to the table and everything in between. He can be reached at

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