2010-08-12 / Front Page

Just In Time For Lazy Days, NATE’S Candy Jar Opens Today In Downtown Gosport

Items Are Made From Recipes Of Many Late Gosport Area Ladies
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

Owner and operator Alyssa Rice is opening her new business in downtown Gosport today, offering festival goers at the annual Lazy Days items such as her homemade caramels or speciality bars like the “Royalty Bar,” consisting of chocolate chips, white chocolate and marshmallows in rice crisps. (Staff Photo) Owner and operator Alyssa Rice is opening her new business in downtown Gosport today, offering festival goers at the annual Lazy Days items such as her homemade caramels or speciality bars like the “Royalty Bar,” consisting of chocolate chips, white chocolate and marshmallows in rice crisps. (Staff Photo) As the owner of a downtown Gosport building, resident Alyssa Rice felt the desire to spruce up the stretch of structures along Main Street.

Today marks the grand opening of NATE’s Candy Jar, just in time for opening ceremonies of the annual Lazy Days Festival, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Gosport Town Park.

“We started making homemade caramels when the boys were little, about nine years ago, to raise money to build a playground at Gosport Elementary School,” Rice explained. “We called them Nate’s Caramels, because Nathan, my oldest son, was the one doing the fund raiser. But, N-A-T-E, also stands for Nathan, Alyssa, Tom and Evan, so that’s why we decided to call it NATE’S Candy Jar.”

NATE’S Candy Jar in downtown Gosport will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (Staff Photo) NATE’S Candy Jar in downtown Gosport will be open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (Staff Photo) Her idea of offering sweet treats to residents and visitors alike also allowed Rice the opportunity to share some tried and true recipes.

“I owned this building and wanted to do something to help with the revitalization. I had also been wanting to do the caramels again, so I thought we’d just do it now and see what happens,” Rice said. “We bought Clay City pottery and had ‘Gosport’ put on it. We went to Edenburg and had popcorn made, then we just called it different things. I had taffy made out of Utah, and they’ve been featured on the ‘Food Network.’ So we’re going to do a lot of bulk selling with candy that you remember as a kid like Chick-O-Sticks, Mary Jane’s, Ice Blue Coolers and we even have candy cigarettes. We’ll also have other items you can buy, too. We’re going to have peanut brittle, turtles and jellies. We’ll also have peanut butter balls and coconut macaroons; they’re all made from recipes of ladies from Gosport who used to live here and have passed on. I wanted to have some of their recipes; we’ll probably have Luella Mays Lemon Bread and Olive’s Opera Fudge.”

Bags of assorted popcorn are available inside NATE’S Candy Jar with labels such as “Spencer Cops,” “Patricksburg Bulldogs,” “McCormmick’s Creek Blend,” “Stinesville Quarry Lads,” “Gosport Indians,” and “Owen Valley Patriots.” (Staff Photo) Bags of assorted popcorn are available inside NATE’S Candy Jar with labels such as “Spencer Cops,” “Patricksburg Bulldogs,” “McCormmick’s Creek Blend,” “Stinesville Quarry Lads,” “Gosport Indians,” and “Owen Valley Patriots.” (Staff Photo) The lip-smacking caramels will also likely be sold at area festivals to help promote the shop.

“I’ve got retro toys coming like the Slinky, army men, the ball and the paddle, and we’ll put gifts together with different candies to send out,” Rice said. “Hopefully late this fall, we’ll start doing ice cream. Once we add ice cream, we may add later hours. We’re also going to sell the new ‘old’ Coke bottles, there will be Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and then Fanta Orange and Grape, so you can come in to get a small bottle of Coke, some candy and head out the door.”

Anyone with a sweet tooth in Gosport is welcome to stop by and take a handful from the candy jar on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

“Donna Summers is going to make the peanut brittle, but Tom, I and the boys make the caramels,” Rice said. “We’re not Bob Moore’s, which is the variety store that used to be here. I hope that when people come in that they have a little bit of a feeling of what it felt like when you were in Bob Moore’s store, because you could go in there and you could buy a sack of candy for 50 cents. We can’t do that today, but I hope kids can come in here, and adults especially, and remember what it was like to go in and buy the candies. People have been sharing their stories... ‘My favorite thing was the chocolate stars or the Boston Baked Beans, or are you going to have this or that?’... so I tried to bring back some of the things I remember as a kid and that I hope other people will remember, too. I want kids, when they’re older, to say, ‘I remember going in this candy store.”

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