I used to think Florida was all beaches, alligators, and Disney. But, when I moved to North Florida in 2013, I learned there was so much more. My boyfriend (now husband) took me to this amazing, little historic area with cobblestone roads lined with boutiques, B&Bs, and restaurants. This impressionable area was St. Augustine, Florida.
One birthday, he decided to surprise me with a trip down, and we spent the night in an amazing inn that was in the heart of all the shops and restaurants. While we were there, we went to this awesome little candy shop. We bought things from our childhood to share with each other, like candy cigarettes, Turkish Taffy, Swedish fish, and (most importantly) salt water taffy. That was the first time I went to The Black Parrot.
That little candy shop was so memorable that, when I was looking for salt water taffies for wedding favors 2 years later, I knew I had to get it from there. I wanted to share the experience I had of walking down memory lane through sweets I had as a child.
When I insisted on finding this candy shop again, I remember my mom asking why we couldn’t go to the multitude of other souvenir/ candy shops that had salt water taffy. I know I told her that it was a unique place, and I just HAD to get them from there. She probably humored me because I was both pregnant and a borderline bride-zilla, but when we arrived, she understood.
We were assisted by one of the sweetest people I know, Ms. Sue, who I later found out was the owner of The Black Parrot. She recommended I get salt water taffy boxes to fill my favor bags, and, when those boxes weren’t enough and my mom had to pick up more, Ms. Sue even included a small bag of taffies for me. (I decided I had to “taste” the taffies as my little cousin, sister, and I were putting together the favors. To be honest, I probably had a good part of a box of taffies, if not the whole box. I have no regrets.)
Since then, I try to visit Ms. Sue and The Black Parrot whenever we go down to St. Augustine. I feel like Ms. Sue has become a great friend to our family and The Black Parrot is better than Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory could ever be. She’s watched our now 2 year old son grow up and watched him play with the different candies. She even let him “help” sort the salt water taffy barrel the last time we visited.
As special as we feel whenever we get to visit, I can guarantee each customer feels the same the minute they walk in, too (as if the nostalgia wasn’t enough). If they have any questions, Ms. Sue is there to answer them. She’ll even talk to you about the industry or make recommendations based on what you like.
All this being said, I’d like to say thank you to Ms. Sue and her husband for The Black Parrot, and for making St. Augustine even more sweet and magical than it already is.
— The Taffy Lady 🙂
P.S. My son *almost* likes salt water taffy as much as I do… almost…