The perfect Easter basket is filled with jelly beans, individually wrapped candies, a large chocolate bunny and, sometimes, a trinket or two that fills the needs of the person receiving said basket.
Oh, and don’t forget the chocolate dentures.
That last one? That’s the fun of creating an Easter basket. It can have the traditional fillings of plastic grass, a bunch of oval eggs containing candy or even money as well as tons of sugary treats. But it should also have a surprise or two – something the gift giver and the gift receiver can talk about for years to come.
Metro Detroit has a large array of candy stores, confectionery makers and chocolate experts, all trained in the art of creating beautiful desserts. Yet they also have refined sense of humor, so you can find unique items in their stores that will make your Easter baskets the hit of the holiday.
The ideal Easter basket has a combination of sweet, savory and silly, according to Frank Germack III, co-owner with his sister Suzanne of Germack’s, an Eastern Market store that sells everything from its signature nuts to in-house roasted coffee to Easter-basket fillings.
Germack, which recently celebrated 95 years in business, may be best known for its nuttier side. After all, Germack was the first and now the oldest pistachio roasting company in the United States. But it also sells lots of candy, including its famous Spring Mixes, which are available on QVC as well as in its Detroit store, Frank Germack said.
For Easter, Frank Germack recommends traditional offerings such as chocolate-covered nuts, its nut mix that includes chocolate nonpareils, mini pretzels, milk-chocolate gems (like M&Ms) as well as mini peanut-butter cups.
The fun twist is its gels and gummies – think candy fruit slices in citrus flavors. Frank Germack also said the red and imported licorice flavors would be a great addition to make any Easter basket a bit more fun.
“That’s the sweet, decadent stuff that we all crave,” Frank Germack said. “Everyone needs a treat once in a while.”
Here are some of Metro Detroit’s favorite candy stores and confectionaries for you to sample some new and old-fashioned favorites.
Doc Sweets: This Clawson candy story can fulfill any sweet tooth’s desire. There’s the classic treats, such as Willy Wonka and Zagnut. There’s also a nice selection of oddities, such as candy-covered and chocolate-covered insects.
Mad Hatter: When you visit this candy store, it is easy to find something for everyone on your list. The Lake Orion shop has it all in stock, including some non-edible items like candy-themed accessories such as jewelry and hair bows for a girl’s Easter basket.
Rocky’s: This Eastern Market candy and nut “superstore” is filled with everything you need to complete an Easter basket. There is bulk candy that you can buy by the pound as well as a large selection of individually wrapped offerings. Plus, they have a bunch of strange treats, including bacon-flavored goodies.
Rocket Fizz: When you’re in Novi, you’ve got to stop by Rocket Fizz. They have more than 80 types of taffy, more than 500 sodas in different flavors plus everything else ever made with sugar. Don’t forget to get the candy duck feet, super-sized suckers and other oddball treats. Sweeties: This adorable candy and ice-cream shop in Grosse Pointe Park has dozens of glass jars of candy, which you can buy by the pound. Try the wax-filled soda bottles, the candied fruits and the UFO-shaped discs that are lighter than air.