Impress your sweetheart with locally made sweets.
J&M Foods. Janis and Melanie are best known for their cheese straws, but the Little Rock manufacturer also makes some of the most decadent cookies available in this market. Traditional cookies such as chocolate chip pecan and triple chocolate chip are reminiscent of Brent & Sam's, once made here in Arkansas; the tea cookies are even better, with flavors such as key lime, raspberry and chocolate orange. Available in cartons and tins at many Arkansas stores. To have your cookies delivered, order online at www.jm-foods.com.
Juanita's Candy Kitchen. The remaining brittle maker in Arkadelphia still makes delicately thin but powerfully good peanut, cashew and pecan brittle and nothing else, the same way it's been done since 1974. Visit the shop behind the Walmart Supercenter in Arkadelphia Monday through Saturday, call Gary or Shauna at 870-246-8542 or order online at www.juanitascandykitchen.com.
Kopper Kettle Candies. Purveyors of chocolate, brittle, barks, truffles and old- fashioned candies, this Van Buren mainstay has earned a loyal following and now has a second location in Fort Smith. This is the home of the Ozarkie confection, vanilla cream rolled in pecans and covered with either milk or dark chocolate. Go by the original store at 6300 Van Buren Highway, call 479-474-6077 or order yours online at www.kopperkettlecandies.com.
Lambrecht Gourmet. One of the younger candy enterprises in Arkansas, this Heber Springs start-up is determined to provide high quality bark-like toffees. Their Hoity-Toity is a hard toffee embedded with macadamia nuts and covered in white chocolate; the Hazelnut Dark Chocolate is butter toffee laced with hazelnuts and milk chocolate. To order, call 501-362-7514 or order online at www.lambrechtgourmet.com.
Martin Greer's Candies. The good Dr. Greer makes every handcrafted candy, chocolate and brittle piece from scratch and sells nothing he doesn't make. If you want to really impress your Valentine, this is where you can find an eight-pound heart-shaped box of chocolates. The pecan bark is highly recommended. Visit the store along state Hwy. 62 in little Gateway, call 479-656-1440 or order online at www.martingreerscandies.com.
Ozark Candy & Nuts. Chocolate pecans, chocolate peanuts, praline pecans, dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans — this little shop in McCain Mall sells all sorts of nut-based confections. And they ship, too. Drop by their kiosk or place an order online at www.ozarknuts.com.
Stonebrook Fudge Factory. Cream and butter fudge made fresh daily by a sweet fellow named Earnest, this is a great place to stop in and savor one (or several) of the 23 varieties of fudge. Or a fried pie. They ship almost anywhere. 116 W. Main in Mountain View. Call 870-269-5955 or head to www.candybouquetofmountainview.com to order.
Sweet. Handmade confections, brownies, candy corn and a host of old fashioned and new-fangled sweets. This is a great place to find novelty suckers, vintage junk food and gum. Plus owner Tim Anthony likes to dress up as Willy Wonka. Call 501-834-1986, visit 800 Hwy. 107 in Sherwood or go to www.facebook.com/ARSweet8.
Sweet Temptations. Here you'll find the fudge that comes with its own spoon. The Greenbrier candymaker is well represented at a number of Arkansas retailers with its signature plastic packaged fudge that comes in more than a dozen flavors — and which is usually packaged with a tiny fudge spoon for covert dining. Sweet Temptations also offers chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks, Turtles and other chocolate items. Call 877-473-4845 or check out the website at www.sweettemptationscandies.com.
Two Dumb Dames. Eureka Springs' longtime favorite place for anything with sugar in it, this old time candy store run by three generations of the same family covers a range of items from turtles and saltwater taffy to jawbreakers as big as a baseball. The fudge is popular with out-of-state visitors who want a piece of Arkansas by mail. Drop by the store at 33 S. Main in Eureka Springs, call 800-237-7268 or order online at www.twodumbdames.com.