Lemon sherberts, Humbugs, Liquorice All Sorts and Pontefract Cakes to name but a few.
They all used to be favourites at my local newsagents, which would be piled high with jars of traditional boiled sweets. But these favourites rarely get a look in nowadays when it comes to the GenZ online generation of tiktoking “candy” fans. However, us older Yorkshire folk are still passionate about traditional sweets from our own childhood. We revisit some of your favourite traditional sweet shops.
First it was honey, then dried fruit and marzipan used for sweet treats. Liquorice also became popular but it was used for medicinal reasons until 1760 when it is thought to have been mixed with sugar by a chemist, Dunhill, and stamped. These later were called Pomfret (Pontefract) Cakes.
While there is a Haribo factory in the area, for traditional sweets people head to The Sweet Shop in Featherstone.
Here you can find all things traditional. In nearby Castleford however Candy Works UK is flying on Tiktok but they utilise American candy, trending sweets and new gummy mixes.
But a lot of places worldwide still rave about Pontefract Liquorice, including The Oldest Sweet Shop in the World in Pateley Bridge.
The Guiness World record holding sweet shop which has appeared on TV numerous times was brought by 25-year-old Ben Howie in 2021 who had been visiting the shop in the North Yorkshire village since he was a youngster.
At the time of purchasing the sweet shop which has been going since 1827, he described himself as a ‘custodian,’ rather than a proprietor.
The young entrepreneur still stocks Pontefract Liquorice cakes as well as sweet mixes from his own childhood.
It’s not just traditional sweet shops you recommended, many of you go to your local market to grab some sweets whether that be Leeds Kirkgate Market, Sheffield’s Moor or Sweet Treats at Barnsley Market.
Sweet Treats have all the latest ‘candy’ treats as well as old school favourite sweets or ‘spice’ as sweets are commonly known as in Barnsley.
Also in South Yorkshire is a real hidden gem which has been serving locals for over 150 years, Granellis.
The small sweet shop on the cusp of the Ponds Forge roundabout at the bottom of the now regenerated Park Hill flats is this traditional sweet shop.
Another urban estate in Yorkshire which people say has the best sweet shop is Flanshaw estate in Wakefield where Reggies Sweets and Treats is located.
But you can’t forget the seaside when it comes to traditional sweet shops such as Whitby and Scarborough.
Sandgate, Hunters and Whitby Lolly Shop all sell traditional sweets as do a lot of the rock shops.
In Scarborough’s Market Hall a new but old fashioned sweet stall has opened in the vaults called Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe and there’s also Mrs Bears Old Fashioned Sweet Shop and many more in Scarborough Town Centre and on the seafront.