Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 125: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store

The highest of sugar highs

A happy yellow barn off Highway 169 in Jordan houses Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. ⁣This place is so popular, it sometimes has neon-vested parking attendants and a Scott County sheriff directing traffic. We visited for the first time in October 2019, just a few weeks before Halloween, joining a line that wrapped around the barn.

Business wasn’t always this nutty (or chocolatey). Herbert “Hippy” Wagner started with a humble apple stand in the late seventies, one of several businesses the WWII vet and lifelong entrepreneur ran. His other ventures included a supper club and a funeral home, the latter of which is still handled by one of his 10 children.

The apple stand eventually became Jim’s Apple Farm, named after another of Herbert’s sons. It did fine until 2005, when a hailstorm decimated the family crop. After more torrential downpours, the Wagners had no choice but to seek another source of income.

Enter Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, a side hustle that has become one of the state’s busiest roadside attractions. After Herbert passed away in 2015, at age 91, his son Robert took over the business, which features a funhouse interior packed with larger-than-life cartoon and comic book characters (Batman, The Joker, The Incredible Hulk), repro movie props from Dr. Who and Big, and Guinness Record-breaking attractions like the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle. (The Disney-themed game has 40,320 pieces and took Mankato native Jim Shoemaker 428 hours to put together.)⁣

As for the candy, there’s every sweet imaginable: gummies, taffies, malt balls, jawbreakers, lollipops, circus peanuts (ew, why?), chocolate bars old and new, and nostalgic movie box candy, not to mention a staggering selection of cookies, chips, sodas, Minnesota-grown apples, and fresh-baked pies.

All told, there are more than 3,000 sweets and snacks in stock; for that, we have Robert’s daughter, Christine, to thank. She’s the buyer/brainiac behind our favorite sections: rare finds from such faraway lands as Israel, Japan, China, Serbia, France, and Taiwan. For more from our adventures in Minnesota’s own Willy Wonka wonderland, check out the archived “MN Candy” story on our Instagram page.

Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
20430 Johnson Memorial Dr., Jordan, MN; no phone.