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A great candy shop is one of the most interesting places to be. More than just the simple candy you find in a checkout line at the grocery store, a true candy shop should have lots of sweets, some fun games to play, and novelties galore.

In other words, when you walk into a great candy shop, 2 minutes should become 20 minutes without you even noticing. With these definitions in mind, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in Beaver is about as great as they come.

With more sweets than you probably knew ever existed, Grandpa Joe’s is definitely where you want to be.

In The Beginning…

There was a time that no candy shop existed on the main street of Beaver. In these dark days, would-be co-owners Adam Cannon and Chris Beers worked in separate fields and knew each other thanks to Chris shopping at another store then owned by Adam. Adam and Chris became friends and upon the sale of Adam’s business they started talking about what to do next.

The conversation moved to the candy business Chris currently had, and before long Adam and Chris found themselves on the way to a candy business expo in Chicago. On the trip home to PA they started talking and decided that they were going to open a store up together.

Adam, hailing from Sewickley suggested that the quaint and Norman Rockwell-esque main street of Beaver would be the perfect location. Instead of driving home first, the duo stopped in Beaver and while sitting outside of Mario’s Woodfired Pizza they decided to move forward with their plan to bring a true candy shop to Beaver.

The pair happened across the closing Cook’s Wares store as it was just coming available and less than 60 hours(!!!) after signing the lease and getting the keys, opened Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop to the public.

The mad rush of setting the store up was mostly hidden from public view with giant paper candy in the window, except for a “sneak peek” circle cut out so anyone walking past could peek in and see the progress. While this meant Adam had to wipe nose prints off a few times every day, seeing the store come together got the community extra excited for the opening.

Opening day for Grandpa Joe’s in Beaver was on the 4th of July weekend in 2014 to a packed house. Since then the business has been solid and not dropped off, even in the colder months. Young and old alike are still drawn to the shop today and business couldn’t be better.

What Makes Grandpa Joe’s Candy Special?

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Candy is candy, right? So what makes Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop so special?

In short, everything! Grandpa Joe’s features literally thousands of different types of candy, more than you could count.

Along with the candy, Grandpa Joe’s stocks more than 165 DIFFERENT types of soda in glass bottles, making them the largest selection in Western PA, possibly all of PA. There’s the hard to find British chocolate everyone’s looking for as well as a variety of weird and wild sweets to make everyone happy.

Above and beyond sweets, there are hundreds of different novelty items including the hilarious horse head squirrel feeder and a host of Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood goods.

When it comes to novelty items, Grandpa Joe’s is the place to be. Looking for something wild to give someone for a special occasion? The hundreds of toys and novelty pieces spread throughout the store make for the perfect oddball gift.

Basically, if it makes Chris or Adam laugh, they make sure it gets into the shop.

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No true candy shop would be complete without some pinball to play and a draft root beer to have while playing, so Adam and Chris found two pinball machines that fit the store to a T.

On the left you have a classic Simpson’s pinball machine from 1990 and on the right is a Fun-Fest machine from all the way back in 1969. Best of all, if it’s a snow day or a cancelled day of school the pinball machines are free to play.

As Adam told me, this is the first time many kids have ever played a pinball machine. After some quick instruction they’re off and having fun with no iPhone or tablet in sight.

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As for the root beer, Grandpa Joe’s always has some fresh draft root beer pouring so if the selection of bottles doesn’t impress you, fresh from the tap root beer should do the trick.

Grandpa Joe’s also makes their own fudge, marshmallows, caramel apples, and specialty chocolate along with their normal selection. These gourmet-quality offerings aren’t always available, so pick them up when you can.

Specialty Candy and More

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Sure, Grandpa Joe’s has a huge selection of candy, but their specialty candy is the diamond in the rough. As we mentioned above they offer true British chocolate as well as a selection of weird and wild candies, too.

Have you ever wondered what a chocolate-covered scorpion tastes like? How about a wafer made with real ants inside or some crispy crickets? Scorpion lollipops make your mouth water? Grandpa Joe’s carries a full lineup of these crazy candies for buggy food lovers as well as those looking to shock and surprise, too.

All the specialty candy here isn’t as weird though. For the kid inside all of us they actually sell cereal marshmallows without the pesky cereal included to get in the way. That’s right, you can buy a giant bag of cereal marshmallows all by themselves.

If for some reason Grandpa Joe’s doesn’t have the candy you’re craving don’t fear. All you have to do is ask them for a specific type of candy and the guys will do everything they can to find it for you. In the words of Adam: “We don’t like to be stumped.

The chances of them being able to find and order your favorite candy are nearly 100%, so ask away and see if you can stump the candy guys.

Better in Bulk

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For the real sweet tooths out there, Grandpa Joe’s also sells candy in bulk. If you’re having a party or just really love a certain type of candy, you can pick up a real fun-sized bag weighing upwards of 5 pounds. From Hairbro raspberries (my personal favorite) to a bag of nothing but Runts bananas, the bulk section is pretty amazing.

The bulk candy section also includes color-coordinated candy that’s perfect for special occasions. If you’re having a wedding, birthday party, or just want to color match your candy to your room, this is the perfect place to be.

Candy Buffet and the $5 Box

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While the idea of picking and choosing through a large selection of bulk candy and filling a bag seems like a great idea, more often than not you or your kids end up picking candy that’s too heavy and getting too much of it. Before you know it you have a $20 bag of candy that’s all mixed together.

To fix this problem and make picking and choosing bulk candy a truly fun experience, Grandpa Joe’s created the Candy Buffet.

The Candy Buffet skips the standard plastic bags to fill and in their place is the $5 box. This box only costs $5, no matter what goes inside or how much it weighs. The only catch is that the box lid must latch and stay closed. Getting the most out of your $5 box of candy is like playing a real-life game of Tetris and the kids absolutely love it.

Everything Else

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The guys behind Grandpa Joe’s have more than just the Beaver location. There’s a Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in Pittsburgh’s strip district as well as their candy buffet business.

If you’re having a party or a wedding and want an inventive and amazing experience, Pittsburgh Candy Buffet can help.

The Grandpa Joe’s guys have a team that comes to your location and designs a candy buffet to fit your every need. From lighting to colors to props, these guys can do amazing things with candy.

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is a perfect example of a classic candy shop with a modern edge. Thanks to the love of great candy the owners share, the selection is unlike any other candy shop while staying small and engaging. Great for both kids and adults alike, Grandpa Joe’s is an awesome way to spend some time on the main street of Beaver.

Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop is open 7 days per week, and their hours vary on the season. Check out GrandpaJoesCandyShop.com for current hours and contact information. Visit PittsburghCandyBuffet.com to learn more about having a custom candy buffet made for your next event.

As for me, I have a 5-pound bag of raspberries and some caramels waiting for me to take care of, because even a writer can’t visit here without taking some candy home.

Brian is a nut when it comes to all things local, especially beer. Born and raised in Center, he now resides in Beaver, loving every minute of it. A technology nut and freelance writer extraordinaire, he knows all the secret spots and things to do in the Beav.