Tracy K. Lorenz ...


The Little Store

When I was a kid growing up in the heart of Norton Shores, MI, there was a store called the Village Market on the corner of Lincoln and McCracken. If you were a kid back then The Village Market (aka “The Vill,” aka “The Little Store”) was like Mecca. The store couldn’t have come close to feeding an entire village, I think it just had one aisle, but it did have candy, Lots of candy.

When I was twelve I was allowed to ride my bike to that store (it was about a mile and a half away). My friend The Schaaby and I would pool our money, go there, ride back, and sell the candy at jacked-up prices to the neighborhood kids not old enough to make the trip. I believe that candy pimp was my first commercial endeavor.

The “Little Store” had a variety of candy that you don’t see these days outside of nostalgia/specialty shops, for instance ...

Bub’s Daddy’s:  A foot of bubble gum in a white paper tube, it came in regular pink bubble gum flavor and grape but no one ever bought the grape. If there was a little league game going on you’d see eighteen players with Bub’s Daddy wrappers sticking out of their back pocket.

Zots: A unique black wrapper stood out amongst the candy surroundings. Zotz were hard candy with some sort of poison in the center that gave you a shot of sourness when you bit through the exterior. We used to eat Zots while reading Mad Magazine, it is impossible to get more 70’s than that.

Drops:  I think that’s what they were called. They were drops on candy on a piece of white paper like really simple Braille. The candy was in a rainbow of colors but not a rainbow of flavors. The presentation was good but you had to eat like a million of them to do any good.

Candy Necklaces:  Girls only.

Pixie Sticks: A paper tube filled with flavored powder, sour powder, real men poured the whole thing under their tongue.

“Sip a Nip” - Yep, that’s what they were called. (Editor’s Note: apparently at some point they were called Nik L Nip and then Ten¢ Nip when the price went up - see page 12.) Wax bottles the size of your thumb that contained about three drops of flavored water. They were sold in a six-pack, if you dumped all of the liquid out of all six bottles you MIGHT get a tablespoon of, basically, warm Kool-Aid. The only redeeming characteristic of this candy fraud was you could bite the tops off the bottles.

Tiger Red:  It wasn’t candy but it might as well have been, Tiger Red was Red pop with one distinguishing characteristic; you could actually feel your teeth dissolve as you drank it.

Necco Wafers: I think Necco Wafers were a front for some secret CIA money laundering scheme because they were always at the store but I NEVER, not once, saw anyone
purchase them. Not even Grandmas. I got a small roll of Necco Wafers for Halloween once, they were actually pretty good but they couldn’t hang with, say, a Snickers bar when
competing for your hard earned quarter.

Candy Cigarettes: Yeah, those would fly nowadays. They were great if you enjoyed eating chalk.

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