Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, Salem and North Andover
Philosophy: Stay true to your roots. The nation’s oldest candy shop is still pleasing sweet teeth more than 200 years after launching, with many original recipes. Classics like Gibralters in lemon and peppermint and the dark, intense Black Jacks, candy sticks made with black strap molasses, remain unchanged from their postcolonial roots.
What’s unique: A whole array of candies that are becoming increasingly hard to find, from horehound squares to Sassafras Slugs, not to mention a luscious array of fudge and cinnamon ginger caramel popcorn, all crafted by hand.
Fun fact: Gibralters and Black Jacks were the first commercially produced sweets in the country.
Salem Flagship Store: 122 Derby St., Salem, 978-745-2744;
North Andover Store: 59 Main St., North Andover, 978-689-3636, oldepeppercandy.com
Harbor Sweets, Salem
Fun fact: Some of the handcrafted sweets at Harbor are made on 60-plus-year-old machines purchased from the old Schrafft’s candy factory in Charlestown.
85 Leavitt St., Salem, 800-243-2115, harborsweets.com