Wakarusa is a sweet little town. Each April the tiny hamlet, located in Northwest Indiana’s Amish area, hosts the annual Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival and among the celebration’s many attractions are the Jumbo Jelly Beans sold at the Wakarusa Dime Store, a retail fixture in the downtown since Moses Wolfberg opened a retail store in that building in 1907.
Last year over 100,000 pounds of jelly beans were sold and there are now 14 flavors.
The dimestore also offers other old fashioned candies such as Neccos, candy cigarettes, Bun Bars, Mary Janes, Slo Pokes, Smith Brothers Cherry Cough Drops, wax lips and Chuckles. Besides that there’s old time chewing gums including Black Jack and Beemans.
But the nostalgic sweets don’t stop there. The store, which is dominated by a 12-foot long counter loaded with candy jars, also has an old fashioned Coke machine and glass bottles of Coca Cola, the kind made with cane sugar and Dad’s Root Beer.
The Wakarusa Dime Store is also the biggest retail outlets of Fannie May Candies in the area and in keeping with their old fashioned candy heritage, the boxed candy is kept in a pink refrigerator case that dates back to the 1950s.
Around the corner is Wakarusa Hardware, a turn-of-the-century store with original hardwood floors and over 1000 wood drawers.