Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, Dublin, Ireland

Posted on
Oct 30, 2012

I was going to write about The Troubles today, but just thinking about doing so after yesterday’s tome on Irish history made my brain hurt.

So instead I’m going to write about candy.

I know. I know. I’m awful. But tomorrow is Halloween, and I figured I’d better get a jump on a sugar high that should last, if I time it right, until well after New Year’s.

The thing I found about Ireland is that they understand their sweets. They really get them. And then came the inevitable follow-up realization: I could live here.

I’m not saying everything was great. There were a few hiccups in the road. The Irish have apparently not realized that banana is a completely unacceptable candy flavor. I’ve found this problem stateside, too, sadly. My attempts to have banana-flavored candies abolished have been unsuccessful.

Still, I keep trying to collect those signatures, no matter how many times the governor’s office has made it clear that “Anti-Bananaism is not a legitimate political cause.”


Besides a few banana-flavored gummi mishaps, the path to tooth decay in Ireland was as smooth as my rapidly deteriorating enamel. Speaking of …

Candy. IN THE SHAPE OF FALSE TEETH. Kind of scarily prophetic, if you think about it.

We made some wonderful new friends at the wedding who introduced us to these denture-shaped candies, and explained that you had to try them on. And so we did.

Really handsome fella … ‘cept for his teeth.

Forgive the blurriness of these photos. My hands were shaking from my sugar high.

Yikes. This might be the most terrifyingly ugly photo of me ever taken.

The gummi false teeth were just a few of many sweets consumed during our trip. Indeed, our entire visit was seen through a sugary haze. Still, there was one shop in Dublin that stands out in my mind.

And then I found out it was a chain, which broke my heart a little. But hey – I’m not above chains. I’ve eaten my fair share of Dairy Queen dipped cones, you know? (That sounded weird. But you get what I mean.) Besides, chains that are unique to the part of the world I’m visiting are okay.

Mr. Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe is, as the extraneous letters suggest, an old-fashioned little place that looked like something out of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, or Harry Potter, or some other movie where adorable children eat lots of candy and nearly get themselves killed.

There is one right in downtown Dublin, not far from Temple Bar. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, for those wishing to make more responsible dietary decisions, but I would have none of that.

NONE OF THAT, you hear?

There was the slight problem that every time I walked in, my eyes would glaze over at the sheer embarrassment of options.


It was an absolute wonderland.


I stopped by two or three times during our stay, before I started to worry that the employees might recognize me. I ended up going with sour gummi candies on one visit (distant cousins of Sour Patch Kids, they managed to be even tarter than their American counterparts), and the absolutely-abhorrent-and-yet-I-keep-eating-them licorice all-sorts during another.

And just as I started lamenting that we don’t have Mr. Simms over here in the states, I noticed something.

They carried sodas …

With the exception of Fanta, I believe we can take credit/blame for all of these sugary concoctions.

And American cereals. Breakfast cereal. AT A CANDY SHOP.

If this is not a commentary on our nation’s eating habits, I don’t know what is.

Of course we don’t have candy shops like Mr. Simms here in the states. We don’t need them. We have all that stuff in our grocery stores. As I contemplated that, I became so alarmed that I threw the rest of my all-sorts in the trash.

But the very next day, when Rand asked me if I wanted a snack, I stared him in the eye and said, “Yes. Bring me some sour gummis.”

Huh. Apparently all those years of eating candy really did rot my brain.

Leave a Comment

  • Roger

    There is a q in liquorice – you don’t get to change the spelling! Allsorts are the epitome of British civilization, and represent what a nation can do. Heck at one point we ran a considerable chunk of the world so we know our stuff. They are about the only thing I miss from the home country while slumming it out in the US. That and prawn cocktail crisps.

    • I’m glad you brought up Prawn crisps – lovely!

    • John

      and it’s pronounced LICKORISS, not LICKERISH as we hear so often

  • We hit up our local Mr Simms every time we’re craving American sweets (well, not every time, because 8 pounds for a box of Lucky Charms is a bit much). I always feel a little embarrassed buying sugary children’s cereals at the age of 30, but sometimes a girl just needs the comforts of home!

  • Goodness! I’m drooling!! I’m definitely adding this one to my destination wishlist.

  • val

    I will admit I used to like to eat the banana-flavored stale circus peanuts. Maybe because no one else would eat it and I’d get an almost whole bag of candy to myself.
    My favorite bon non candies were chocolate orange creams and chocolate maple creams.
    I also liked Cadbury, milky way, jelly beans, lickerish, mallow cups, taffy, kisses, M&MS, skittles, gum, gummies, starburst and more.
    Maybe I just liked candy.

    American cereal is a sweet 🙂 so its a cansy.
    I don’t really care for the kind with Marshmallows in it. They are not remotely like Marshmallows.

  • MEgan

    I spent a year in Australia. They, too, understand their sweets. I returned home to Canada with one suitcase dedicated, and filled, with Aussie candy. My husband was horrified that we had to spend an extra baggage fee for that suitcase. I feel you would have understood my position.

  • I just paid US$8 for a box of Reese’s Puffs in Malaysia. It’s a breakfast AND a dessert. I thought, “That’s insanely expensive.” and then I went back the next week to buy another box to hoard when they run out.

  • Love the blog Geraldine, no matter what kind of day it is, reading your blog it always cheers me up! 🙂

  • Lisa

    Fanta is actually a Coke product, so we are technically responsible for those too. (Although we can’t get the best Fanta in the USA — that’s Fanta Lemon.)

    And Marina – as far a sugar cereal goes, Lucky Charms is pretty low is sugar. Only 10 grams of Sugar a serving. I make my kids pick breakfast items that have 10 or less grams of sugar. That rules our PopTarts and Captain Crunch. But Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch pass the test. Go figure. Although, Cinnamon Toast Crunch must cheat on the test — it’s COATED in sugar!!

  • Amy D

    I looove British (or Irish) sweet shops! And you are TOTALLY RIGHT about banana-flavored candy. I would sign your petition.

  • I will gladly sign an anti-banana-flavored-candy petition. Banana popsicles are the WORST. I’m also anti-cherry-flavored-candy. Artificial flavors creep me out in general, but these two specifically.

  • Michelle

    We have Mr Simms in Chester in England. When it opened my friends and I were just as excited as you, and also shared your disappointment that it’s a chain, but we soon realised we shouldn’t be the only lucky ones!! My favourite things are the bars of handmade chocolate that have different sweets all over them. Sweets ON chocolate.. they don’t even make you choose one or the other! Heaven 😀

  • Amy

    I could live in that store. Of course, I would then need REAL dentures, as opposed to the candy ones 😉

  • 1). I totally endorse your anti banana candy petition. But, I’ll go even further. I believe that bananas themselves, in every form, should be banned.
    2). All Sorts are the best. We fueled our drive around Ireland (on the wrong side) with All Sorts. Actually, we needed drugs, but All Sorts were a fine substitute. They taste better. They are not illegal to possess. They are not addictive—–no, actually, they are addictive, but they are not very readily available on the U.S. side of The Pond. Good and Plenty is poor substitute. Consuming them incessantly in large quantities produces the heightened alertness that I imagine crystal meth provides, thus increasing the odds that one will pick the correct side of the road after turns and when swerving to avoid oncoming tour busses.
    3) Thank you for vindicating our position that junk cereal was permissible for our sons to consume—-as long as they ate it for dessert.

  • Clare Dolan

    As someone that lives in dublin ( i missed you visit as i was on your side of the water ) i love those milk teeth – they used to be out years ago and disappeard but have been relaunched only in the last few months – it is still hard to find them but i will be honest i have discovered that a whole seller that is near me sells them so i am able to bulk buy them ( 240 teeth in a box !!) but the only problem is i then proceed to eat all 240 of them !!!

  • Anisa

    Wow, Mr. Simms looks awesome! I did not see this place either time I have been to Dublin.
    Good thing though, or I wouldn’t have been able to close my bag.
    I love the fake teeth. Very cool.

  • Erf, oh no, I’ve been trying to avoid the halloween candy bowl all night, but now I’m feeling the urge..
    The breakfast cereal thing is hilarious. Most people I know who buy sugary cereals these days have them as a before bed dessert, not for real breakfast, at least

  • Sammi

    o0o i love mr. simm’s sweet shops. could spend an absolute fortune in there.

    my favourite old fashioned sweets are black jacks and fruit salads 🙂

  • I have just happened upon your blog! How it took me this long to get here… I simply don’t know! Fantastic! I’m excited to follow your journey!

    Happy Movember 😉

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