Manistee man discovers candy collection worth a dime

Manistee man discovers candy collection worth a dime

MANISTEE — David Maylen loves sweets.

Your favorite part? Not the chocolate, the caramel or even the nougat. What most attracts the Manistee man is the packaging.

“I majored in food science at Michigan State. While I was there, I had a lot of packaging classes,” he said. “I think packaging is really an art form. It’s quite interesting in terms of what packaging can achieve. When I got out of college, got a job and had money to spare, I started collecting what I felt were packaged candy unusually.”

Maylen enjoyed seeing the trends in candy packaging.

“I think it’s smart that the packaging had themes… Shoes seemed to be a very popular thing,” he said. “…Food is also popular. I have my ice cream cones, my soda cans, Domino’s came out with bubblegum pizza, Fleer had Pizza to go. I have egg cartons with rubber eggs in them. Donuts, hot dogs, hamburgers , popcorn. And then these little Igloo lunch boxes have…cans of caramel soda, you can see the lid coming off.”

Maylen said that packaging based on movies, sports, vacations, music, video games, and even human anatomy were quite popular.

“Anatomy is always good… There’s this candy (Barfo). I would never eat it, I don’t know why a child would want it,” he said. “…There are a lot of liquid-type candies, and these have to be the grossest. You were supposed to buy them and then squeeze them and then vomit would come out of their mouths. Just crazy.”

Manistee has had several candy stores in its history. Mark Fedder, executive director of the Manistee County Historical Museum, said there were several candy and confectionery shops in the area over the decades.

“Going back to the 1870s, when local entrepreneurs, the Seymour brothers, first brought ice cream to Manistee, the area grew to have several ice cream parlors, soda fountains and candy stores,” he said. “One of the first candy stores was the Crescent Candy Shop, located on River Street and it lasted about a decade. Sugar Bowl was also a popular candy store in the first half of the 20th century, it was located right next to the Lyric Theatre. Others followed, and of course if you grew up in the 1990s, you remember that Candy Mountain was a mecca for kids in Manistee.”

Over the years, Maylen’s candy collection has suffered some casualties.

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