Heart's in the right place for candy shop owner

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Some are swooning this Valentine's Day, not from love, but from the loss of those heart-shaped "conversation" candies that say things like "Be Mine" and "Marry Me."

When the New England Confectionery Co. folded in July 2018, after 100 years in business, the lovelorn were comforted to learn that the new owner, the Spangler Candy Co., would start making Sweethearts again — and Necco Wafers — in time for the 2020 holiday. But, it wasn't to be.

While Brach's makes something similar, they aren't the same in taste or message, says Robin's Candy owner Robin Helfand, who said her "insider information" has it that Spangler will start eventual production again. Until then, Helfand's Great Barrington shop is here to help lovers — up to a point, of course.

She has a "secret stash" of 25 pounds of Sweethearts in bulk for $15.99 per pound, which is comparable in price to her other bulk candy. She also has 25 boxes in original packaging for $5.99 each.

Given the shortage, did she mark them way up?

"It just didn't feel right to me," she said. "I'd rather share the love."

And apparently, this is a love that won't go stale, either.

"It will last for years."

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