The world needs more obscure candy. At least that's what the owners of Minnesota's Largest Candy Store say. The Wagner family hopes their latest expansion — an 85,000-pound, 60-foot space dome — hits the sweet spot.
Drivers on Hwy. 169 south of Jordan already can't miss the place with its hangar-like building sloshed with yellow paint and filled with quirky sweets like bacon-flavored soda and jalapeño cotton candy.
But lately, the mysterious silo addition has been taunting tourists who want to know what's inside.
"They wonder if it's a velodrome or a merry-go-round," said owner Robert Wagner. "The best guess was from a group of welders who thought it might be a massive barbecue pit."
Wagner told the Star Tribune that curious customers have been stopping by for weeks trying to get a peek. The store, along with the new expansion, will be open for the season May 13.
"I want to be the first one in line," said Christine Skluzacek of Montgomery, Minn. "I take the kids there a couple times every summer. They like to buy weird candies like chocolate-covered bugs. They also have the best port-a-potties around."
What's the draw of the already famous tourist attraction? Once inside, the big yellow dome becomes a space-themed planetarium with a rotating ceiling painted to replicate the constellation Carina. Jordan High School art teacher Jessica Barnd lent her painting skills for the project, which required hand-painting 85 sheets of plywood.
Three-dimensional rockets and space ships, including Star Trek's Starship Enterprise and Star Wars' Millennium Falcon, will be added later as local artists complete them.
As for candy, Wagner says to expect the unexpected. The planetarium will be filled with obscure, interactive candies from countries like Germany and Japan. How can candy be interactive?
"It's candy that's a little more of an experience, an adventure," Wagner said. "The most bizarre candy we'll have is this one where you mix a liquid and a powder in a [toy] toilet and drink it with a straw. Kids think the toilet is a magical disappearing machine and they love it."
If you go, forget your credit cards. Wagner does business the old-fashioned way — with cash.