Calgary

Necco Wafer fans scramble to stockpile classic candy

The lozenges, which come in flavours like cloves, citrus, cinnamon and liquorice, could soon be just a memory, as the company that makes them is in serious financial trouble.

The chalky hard candies are divisive and could be a thing of the past if the company that makes them closes

This photo taken Oct. 14, 2009, Necco Wafers on displayed in Boston. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

Necco Wafers are a deeply divisive candy. Some love how the historic candy snaps when bit into, others compare the taste to "drywall."

But the lozenges, which come in flavours like cloves, citrus, cinnamon and liquorice, could soon be just a memory.

The New England Confectionery Co. — where the wafers' name Necco comes from — has said it is struggling and looking for buyers. It could shut down after 170 years.

Fans are desperately buying up the candy while it's still available.

"People who hate them say they taste like drywall or other uncomplimentary things — gone-off TUMS. People who love them say they're the best thing ever and remind them of their childhood," Shelley Willson, the owner of Cochrane's Horse Creek Heritage Candy Store, told the Calgary Eyeopener.

"They're indestructible. They'll survive everything."

Candy rush

Willson said the candy has a long history. It was eaten by soldiers in the civil war, and packed as rations in both world wars by both U.S. and Canadian soldiers.

"For a long time it was considered patriotic to eat them because you were in solidarity with the armed forces," she said.

Right now, the candies are trading for up to 10 times their normal value, Willson said.

"One lady on the internet offered to trade her Honda Civic for a candy store's whole supply and she was turned down," she said. 

Wilson's store in Cochrane, Alta., has a stockpile of four flavours (chocolate, sour, tropical and original) and she's ordered in 600 more rolls this week. For those wanting to get their hands on the wafers, there's a limit of two per person.

For fans of the candy, however, not all hope is lost. The maker's former CEO has started a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of buying his former company. 

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

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