Who needs Willy Wonka when you have Nifty Nut House? The Wichita icon is home to hundreds of nuts and sweets that would make the eccentric candy castle owner jealous.
While the store doesn’t include candy in the name, it has a super large inventory of all sorts of candy. Gummis, sour patches, licorice, candy bars, M&Ms, as well as hard candies. You name it and they probably have it.
The store, which is a few blocks from downtown, has been in business since 1937. They must do something right, eh?
The building is an invitation for a sweet adventure. As you approach it, a mural featuring squirrels and their nuts covers the entire side of the building. You know you’re in for a treat.
As you enter the store, you are immediately amazed at the depth and size of it all. Shelves and more shelves full of popcorn, candies, nuts, and so much more!
In the middle of the shopping area, people line up to order all kinds of nuts and beans. The crowd was impressive. At times, it was 3-4 people deep in front of each section. During our visit, people were coming in to pick up pre-ordered holiday baskets.
As you walk down the first row, as you come to the end of it, you see another section that is the size of another small building. Wowza!
We found retro candy, including Willy Wonka treats. I must have gone shelf to shelf, picking up an item and telling Lisa what year it reminded me of my childhood.
At one point, we came to an entire row of licorice. Not just red and black string licorice. Nope. There were choices. All kinds of licorice. Licorice cats and dogs. Licorice bites. Twizzlers. There were more than 20 types of licorice, in all.
My favorite treat was cinnamon gummi bears. Lisa is not a fan of it, so that meant they were all mine! She preferred yogurt-coated pretzels. We picked up plain gummi bears and sour worms for our daughters.
The store also sells candy-related items. We checked out some gumball machines. They were the good ones – retro machines. Some of them included metal, so they weren’t going to break on you the first time you use them.
We had to force ourselves out of the store. It’s a place you could easily spend a couple of hours taking in everything. No wonder Food network star Alton Brown referred to this store as a “national treasure” during a recent visit.
For more information on Nifty Nut House, check out the website at www.niftynuthouse.com.