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Cheap Eats: Old Market Candy Shop

Posted at 9:05 AM, Feb 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-03 13:23:27-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away. If you're still unsure what to do for someone special, 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole made a trip to the Old Market to give you some delicious ideas.

It may be the sweetest spot in the Old Market.

"It's an old-fashioned candy shop that people enjoy coming in, reminiscing about things they haven't seen for many years," explained owner Jeff Jorgensen.

The Old Market Candy Shop has been selling delicious candy since 1977.

"We have many jellybean flavors — we carry saltwater taffy from Salt Lake City which is where the best saltwater taffy comes from," Jorgensen added.

They also sell chocolate — lots and lots of chocolate.

Most of it is made in-house, along with all of the fudge.

"Someone is making candy every hour that we are open and we're open all but four days a year," Jorgensen chuckled.

That's where co-owner Mike Pivonka comes in.

"How long have you been making chocolate?" Serese asked.

"Twenty-one... 22 years," Pivonka replied.

Pivonka is the Candy Maker in Chief here.

This is one of his favorite times of the year.

"Talk to me about chocolate and love — because the two go together don't they?" asked Serese.

"Yes. I had a guy that came in here that wanted Mudballs. He wanted a letter on each Mudball, and it said, 'will you marry me.' I put it in a box and he gave it to her — it was wonderful," Pivonka recalled with a smile.

The Mudballs are the number one seller.

It's a crushed Oreo cookie mixture dipped in their homemade chocolate.

It is truly love at first bite.

A close second is the chicken legs.

"How many of these do you make?" asked Serese.

"Oh, zillions it seems like. We've been making these for over 40 years!" replied Pivonka.

"Chicken leg is going to be a pretzel rod, you dip that in hot caramel, and you take it and roll it in crushed almonds. You let that set for about a half hour, get that good and solid and you dip it in milk chocolate," Pivonka explained.

Their third best-seller is chocolate-covered cherries.

Each cherry is dipped by hand.

"It may be time-consuming but it's worth it," he smiled.

You can also create a box or a tray for your valentine.

"When a guy picks up a tray for a woman, it's the stuff she likes. It's not pulling it off the shelf. You pick out what she likes. We'll put it on there for you and we'll saran wrap it for you," Pivonka explained. "So, if you want to put a little note in it too, you can do that for her, and if you don't know what she likes by now — uh, you're in trouble."

From turtles to chocolate-covered coffee beans, this little candy shop is a tasty treasure spreading love — not just on Valentine's Day — but every day.

"We do have families come in and say my grandparents brought me and now I am bringing my kids here and a few of them say that I'm bringing my grandkids here," Jorgensen said.

And that's pretty sweet.

The owners say the nice thing about making your own chocolate is it's easy to accommodate special requests. If you have a special order — call them ahead of time at (402) 344-8846. To make sure your Valentine has their treats in time, place your order about a week out. You can always stop by and watch them make their chocolate. The Old Market Candy Shop is at 1007 Howard Street. All their chocolate is priced by weight.

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