Combing Green Bay streets for sweet treats
From De Pere to Suamico, food writer Josh Koerner rounds up a selection of locally made candy, chocolates and sugary finds
By Josh Koerner
It was hardly September this year when grocers and big-box stores began slinging their Halloween chocolate bundles. Adorned with festive ghouls and familiar candies, these bags can be hard to resist. It’s easy to forget about local candy shops at times like these. I am guilty of this myself. I typically buy a big grab bag, eat my fill and watch the unwanted candy swim along the bottom of the bowl for the next few months. To combat this candy-wrapped laden routine, a trip to chocolatiers in the greater Green Bay area highlights a variety of confections.
Two sweet staples
Since 1899, Seroogy’s (144 N Wisconsin St) has been the staple candy shop of De Pere. The family-owned shop opened a second location inside of the Bay Park Mall in 2017.
Past all of the spooky shaped novelty candies and holiday-wrapped chocolate treats, I discovered that Seroogy’s held a dark secret this year. There, on the candy bar shelf, rested something devilishly delicious: a brand new meltaway bar.
Seroogy’s has finally brought their dark chocolate bar into the meltaway family. This new bar has replaced the old, thick dark chocolate brick. This has always seemed like a logical step to me. I held no contempt for the old bar, but it always seemed somehow deceptive strewn among the myriad of meltaways. Now, it serves as a good mid-ground between the sweet, creamy milk chocolate and the decadently dark coffee meltaways.
Another local favorite, Beersten’s Candies (200 N Broadway), can trace its roots back nearly as far as Seroogy’s as the regional chocolate chain got its footing in 1932. With locations across the state, Beerntsen’s are known for chocolatey confections and notably unique dipped treats. The shop features such dipped delicacies as cookies and Swiss cake rolls, Nutty Buddies and even brownies.
Personally, I find the chocolate that they coat things in to typically be too sweet for my tastes. The one exception to this rule may be their chocolate covered bacon. Here, the sugar makes a fine accent to the natural saltiness of bacon, providing a sweet and savory experience. GIven its artery-clogging tendencies, Choco-bacon may just be the spookiest treat of the season for the medical professional in your life.
Beyond bacon, Berinstein’s offers a small amount of gummies and assorted candies. Personally, I find the truffles and filled chocolates to be their biggest draw. My personal favorites here are the fruit-flavored cream filled chocolates: particularly the lemon. The fruit creams have a thinner consistency than most, but offer a superior flavor.
The Candy Bar in Suamico (2490 Lineville Rd suite B) appeared on the sugar scene in 2019. While it may not have as wide of a chocolate selection as some competitors, it offers an astonishing selection of vintage candy, trumping even Seroogy’s. Its wall of candy spans decades worth of confection and includes some notable names such as Zots, Tart n Tinys, Candy Buttons, Astro Pops, Refreshers, Nerds, Warheads and many more. The Suamico confectionery even has those weird little wax juice bottles and some vintage chewing gum that I think tastes like a petrol station smells.
As far as the season goes, The Candy Bar is certainly the most festive of the three. It has an entire section of Halloween themed candy including seasonal shaped peeps, various creepy crawly gummies, “Nightmare Before Christmas” merchandise and candy cleavers in a “Friday the 13th” hockey mask tin. The Candy Bar also offers less slasher-focused treats with a wide selection of Harry Potter themed bandies, from chocolate wands to Butterbeer.
As far as its chocolates are concerned, caramel is the shining star. Rich and velvety with just a bit of sugary grit, The Candy Bar’s caramel is reminiscent of something found tucked away at a Door County market. If I were to make one complaint about their chocolates, it would be portion control. I feel like my beloved caramel falls a bit short in The Candy Bar’s jumbo bear claws and turtles. I appreciate a good nut, but the sheer amount of nuts packed into these hand-sized treats covers up a load of potential flavor.
My personal favorite of theirs is the peanut butter bar with caramel, which could also benefit from some portion control. The meltaway bit of the bar has a strong peanut flavor that marries swimmingly with the caramel, but the bar as a whole is very rich. I feel like I would prefer to have it cut into quarters for maximum chocolate coverage.
It’s obvious that the store is aware of their caramel prowess as nearly everything chocolate-covered is also available with a layer of delicious caramel, even the chocolate covered Oreo. Sorry Seroogy’s, there’s a new Oreo sheriff in town.
Josh Koerner grew up in De Pere and has a passion for local food. He’s written for The NEWcomer and Nosh Green Bay alongside his personal Facebook food blog, Josh Eats Green Bay.