Dylan’s Candy Bar is a long way from getting 2 milk bottles for a cent at the Ritz cafe in Tumby Bay. Milk bottles have been replaced by rock candy, jelly bellies and jaw breakers, along with a few thousand other sweet options. There are cola bottles, peach rings, sour worms, swedish fish, plus all things gummy – bears, killer sharks, snakes and brains. Then there are candy inspired t-shirts, toys, fudge, celebrity favorites, tote bags, jewelry, gifts for baby or bride, coffee mugs – even sweet treats for your dog. It’s a regular Disney World of psychedelic confectionary, a child’s fantasy land, a dentists dream.
Dylan is actually Dylan Lauren, child of Ralph Lauren, the well know billionaire fashion mogul. Like father like daughter, the candy business is big and the branding is slick. The core of their advertising is ‘to feel like a kid again’. But Dylans and my childhoods were obviously very different. For me, the memory of standing in wet bathers, wrangling over the number and volume of choices that could fit into a 2 bob bag of mixtures, and then getting back to the beach works every time….