Christmas in the Maritimes is often made a little sweeter with presents from one of the region’s oldest and best-known candy makers.

Robertson’s Candy in Truro, N.S. has been in business since 1928. Barley toys, or clear candy, is its specialty and the classic candy shop still uses many of its original moulds to shape sugar into Christmas figures.

“Most of it is nostalgia,” says owner Roy Robertson. “You could get a hundred letters and they all say the same thing, if you put one over the other, you know, ‘we want to introduce it to our grandchildren, because it was so much a thing of our youth.’”

It's that kind of tradition that brings loyal customers into the shop each Christmas.

Colin Whitelock was thrilled to be able to get a taste of a British Christmas when he picked up some candy chicken bones at the shop.

“It's unusual. You know, it's sort of a one-off thing. It's not the sort of thing you can buy in a shop,” says Whitelock.

“I used to get this when I was a kid in my stockings and stuff. You can't buy it anymore and it's terribly hard to find. So when you find a good spot, eh, you keep coming back to it,” says customer Phyllis Bailey.

Robertson credits a new company website for helping to maintain orders, although he says he doesn’t make much ribbon candy anymore, as demand is down and production is labour intensive because they continue to make it the traditional way.


“We've been doing it the same way since 1928, so it's one of those things when my dad started the business,” he says.

The Christmas candy production rush is over for this year, but Robertson makes candy year round and the seasonal sweets will be back in production next September.