Sweet reward: The Taffy Shop in Estes Park voted No. 1 candy shop in the U.S.

The Taffy Shop took the top spot on Wednesday in the USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.
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Posted at 10:35 AM, Jun 19, 2024

ESTES PARK, Colo. — The sweet secret is out.

A staple of downtown Estes Park was just voted as the “best candy store” in the U.S. The Taffy Shop took the top spot on Wednesday in the USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest. First selected by a panel of experts, voters across the country selected The Taffy Shop as No. 1 on the list.

“These candy shops stand out because they offer a variety of delicious treats that you won't always find in big chains or supermarkets. Plus, they offer the chance to discover new flavors, support local businesses, and enjoy a fun and nostalgic experience,” said USA Today on its website.

The Taffy Shop has been making sweet-tooth fanatics in Estes Park for almost 90 years and on a busy day the line to snag salt water taffy runs out the door.

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It hasn't quite set in for the staff, who have been busy making taffy all day.

"But all day long, neighbors and friends and business owners and customers have been dropping by with their congratulations," said Mark Igel, shop owner. "We really feel humbled to be in this position, and I think it's an honor for our customers that they put us here."

He said customers' loyalties to the store have been overwhelming.

"It really speaks to, I think, the relationship the store has had for so many years, that it's created with people and their families," he said.

A release from USA Today reads that The Taffy Shop has used the same recipe since 1935.

USA Today said of The Taffy Shop: “Since 1935, visitors have popped into The Taffy Shop to watch candymakers create the store's iconic Estes Park Salt Water Taffy. Not only can you get your favorite tried-and-true flavors such as lemon, vanilla, and peppermint, but also daily flavors such as blueberry, chocolate cherry, and orange creamsicle.”

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A staple of downtown for almost 90 years, The Taffy Shop is in the running to be “best candy store” in the USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards contest.

Igel said some celebration plans are in the works. But for now, they are soaking up the moment.

"Today, we're planning an event where we're going to have a group photo in front of the store, not just the staff, but our friends, our customers, anyone that knows and loves the Taffy shop will be invited," he said.

Will anything change for The Taffy Shop moving forward. Igel said customers new and old will still enjoy the same treats as always.

"Still making the same taffy that we made for years," he said. "And I think that's the key — that nothing changes at The Taffy Shop. It's the same memory. It's the same quality candy that's been here for years, and so we're not going to let this change anything other than having an excuse to connect with our customers in better ways."

For customers across the country, The Taffy Shop sells traditional salt water taffy and other unique flavors on its website.

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