You know, that free sample at See’s Candies is brilliant – they hook you early in becoming a lifelong See’s fan. Growing up in the 70s, I have distinct memories of shopping at the mall with my mom. My treat for putting up with her running all over town to find the perfect shoes and matching handbag was always a visit to See’s Candies.

Even the way they display each piece of candy is brilliant.

Old Mrs. See has been around a long time, and nothing much has changed in the 50 or so years she and I have been fast friends. Then and now, when I walk into a See’s store, I’m greeted by that old-timey white tile, white walls, white floor and black accents. The cases that hold the candies glimmer and shine like magic, as the line of people eyeball each variety and point to the ones they would like to take home.

(Take home? Let’s be real – we all just eat them on the way to the car, right?)

With my mom standing over me, I pointed to my favorites – milk-chocolate covered Honeycomb Molasses, and California Brittle with nuts and chocolate. For a while I toyed with Divinity and a gooey Chocolate Buttercream, but then veered back to my standard favorites.

I think I could eat an entire can of these in one sitting.

But that free sample was like magic. It was brilliant really, as the person behind the candy counter (also dressed in white) would fetch it for me and put  it in that little white back with the black lettering.

So every now and then, I take my kids to See’s and we do exactly the same thing: salivate over all the delicious options, enjoy the free sample that whets our appetites, ponder all the favor combinations even though we already know exactly what we will order, and walk out with a little white bag of goodness. I know candy is not good for us, but sometimes it’s just good for the heart, ya know?

They put the candy behind glass to protect it from my slobber.

Today we doubled down and got Dark Chocolate California Brittle, Peanut Crunch, Pecan Clusters and Honeycomb Molasses Chips, along with a few other randoms that the girls wanted to try. Blueberry Bonbon and Mint White Chocolate Truffle were among the final selection.

This is one memory of my mom I will alway cherish. And it’s even more memorable while eating a nice Pecan Turtle.

And just remember – Valentine’s Day is coming! Hmmm, now how to drop the hint…..