New Brunswick

That sucks: Ganong drops classic double-thick mints

Ganong confirmed Friday that the company has stopped making the classic white and pink double-thick wintergreen mints known for their larger-than-average size and powdered coating.

St. Stephen company says rising costs forced it to discontinue mints after 140 years

Ganong's double-thick mints have been a staple in many Maritime homes. (Ganong Bros. Ltd.)

A sweet Maritime staple has been discontinued.

Ganong confirmed Friday that the company has stopped making the classic white and pink double-thick wintergreen mints known for their larger-than-average size and powdered coating.

The mints have been sold for 130 years and, like the St. Stephen company's Chicken Bones, have been a classic New Brunswick candy.

A Saint John area couple were devastated by the news the mints were disappearing for good from store shelves.

Randy Sherwood said he and his wife Wendy have been enjoying them every day for at least 10 years.

"Oh my goodness, that's quite a shock," he said of Ganong's plans.

There were just over a dozen bags left at Lawton's in Saint John on Friday afternoon. (Peter Anawati/CBC)

In an emailed statement, Ganong Bros. Ltd. blamed a change in the confectionery world for the need to stop making the mints.

"The rising costs of continuing to produce these in the traditional way compelled us to remove lozenges from our confectionary lineup," the statement said.

"We know that they will be missed by many of our loyal consumers."

Sherwood, 59, said there's no replacing the mints.

"I remember for years and years my grandmother used to have dishes full of mints all the time," he said. "I just can't understand why — is there something wrong with them or what?"

Sherwood said to him and his wife, the mints are a daily treat. He also uses mints to avoid smoking. 

"I haven't smoked for a little over  a year now, so usually I have a substitute," he said.

Since the mints became hard to find, the couple have been sizing up other mints.

"We have tried a few like different mints. Like there's scotch mints, there's Life Saver mints. We've been trying different ones. It's hard to replace something that we've had for years." 

The little things 

Lisa Penner owns East Coast Catalogue, specializing in selling Maritime and Atlantic Canadian candy online to people who are away from home.

She heard from Ganong last month that the mints would be discontinued, so she bought hundreds of bags.

They sold out within a few days.

"Word had spread very quickly," she said. "People were buying 25 or 50 bags at a time."

Penner said she heard a few interesting stories from customers about how important the mints are for them, including one customer who said he's been enjoying the mints for 50 years.

"He said, 'It's the simple pleasures in life that bring such joy at our age, and while it may seem insignificant to some people it's something … that we look forward to everyday.'"

2nd only to Chicken Bones

Penner said even before Ganong began shutting down production, the mints had been a "good seller," second only to Chicken Bones.

Penner herself is from Nova Scotia and remembers her grandmother serving him Ganong mints.

Now she's sold every last bag of mints, but one.

"I haven't opened it yet, because I'm just saving it," she said. "If word gets out a bidding war could perhaps start."

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