Author Archives: Sol Parker

Hershey Is Coming To The UK

Hot sweetie news!

Hershey is going to target the UK and Europe as part of a move to expand sales in the region.

You can get some Hershey sweets in the UK already… we sell Reeses Cups and Nutrageous but it looks liek the range is going to expand a lot.

The bad news is that… according to the little bird that told us about the story… you’ll only be able to buy the new Hershey sweets from branches of Asda.

We think that’s pants!

Christmas Frenzy!

Our New Fab Gift Message - Leave The Christmas Frenzy To Us!

Our New Fab Gift Message - Relax... Leave The Christmas Frenzy To Us!

Oh yes… it’s a Christmas Frenzy at our place as you can probably imagine.

Just imagine… a 15,000 square feet warehouse (that’s about 1/5 the size of the pitch at Wembley – I had to look that up, unsurprisingly!) rammed, floor to very high ceiling, with sweets!

But it’s not chaos… oh no.  Everyone knows exactly what they need to do, what needs to be where… and when.

We Think About Christmas In January!
It’s just as well that we start preparing for Christmas in early January!  Can you believe that?

What seemed like really dull systems and procedures when we were planning them earlier in the year, are now proving absolutely invaluable.

And since this is our 8th Christmas now, we’ve learned a heck of a lot over the years.

Each time spot a potential issue during the year, we make sure we have sorted it before it rears its ugly little head.   And believe me, if it remained unresolved by the time of the Christmas frenzy, it’s head would be not so little and hideously ugly (if you see what I mean).

What does this mean to you?
It means that you can rest assured that we are turning orders round as quickly and efficiently as we do at the rest of the year.  And you know that is super speedy!

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping a bit late, no problem.  Just whack in your order and we’ll have it sent out, either to you or the lucky recipient, quick sharp!

And you can even include one of our fab new format gift messages in with your order FREE.  Brilliant!

So you can leave the Christmas Frenzy to us… just place your order with www.AQuarterOf.co.uk and relax!

Car Memories from the 1970s and 1980s

Here’s my top 11 memories I have about cars and car journeys in the 1970s and 1980s:

  1. In the 1970s, half the cars on the road seemed to have tin foil plastered across their radiator grilles.  Anyone know why that was?  And if it worked?
  2. Again in the 1970′s, when driving anywhere on hot summer days, you’d just see a string of cars at the side of the road, bonnets up, over-heating merrily.
  3. Vinyl car seats.  Aaaarrggghhh… peeling your legs off them after a long hot car journey wearing shorts.
  4. In the summer of 76, a favourite pastime of tv reporters was seeing if they could fry an egg on a car bonnet .
  5. Reading the Whizzer and Chips Summer Special (Sid’s Snake and Shiner on the cover!), sitting in the back of our Ford Cortina, crawling along an A road (before there were so many motorways), behind a string of the caravans (which seemed to be everywhere in those days).
  6. My Grandma’s Morris Oxford… it had the turning circle of an ocean going liner (and it was about the same size too!)
  7. Even the shortest journeys taking ages because of the lack of motorways and the abundance of caravans
  8. Motorway service stations where they had all the different petrol brands lined up next to each other one one forecourt.  I used to think that was soooo exciting.
  9. Petrol priced by the gallon.
  10. Petrol priced without any decimals in the price ( I can remember the consternation the first time we saw a gallon of petrol for 48.9 pence.  How could you have 0.9 pence – we argued!)
  11. 1980s this one I think…There was a sudden trend for cars to have a strip hanging down from by the exhaust pipe, apparently to discharge static electricity and reduce car sickness.  Did it work, anyone?
  12. 1980s again… Those wooden ball car seat covers.  Were they comfortable?  They looked like a instruments of torture to me.

Any other car memories from the 1970s or 1980s, anyone?

Less Sticky Chewing Gum – It’s Law In Spain

Saving The Euro By Making Less Sticky Chewing Gum

Whether you follow the financial news closely or not, you’ll probably be aware that Spain, along with a few other countries in Europe, have serious financial problems that need addressing fast.

A sticky situation?  Definitely.

The Spanish Government has acted fast and decisively.

A Cabinet Meeting decided last week to bring in a regulation to make the country’s chewing gum less sticky.  This act is hoped to save hundreds of thousands of Euros in street cleaning costs.

You can read more on this story in this week’s Confectionery News.

Now don’t get me wrong, I dislike discarded chewing gum as much as anyone else (by the way, if you sit on it, put your clothes in the freezer… you can just break the chewing gum off then).

But I can’t help thinking that Spain’s government has a strange order of priorities when it comes to their current financial plight.

Ronco Buttoneer – A 70`s Icon!

Remember Buttoneer?  If you are a child of the 70s like me, I’m sure you will.

It ws going to revolutionise buttons… because, as the advert said, “the problem with buttons is that they always fall off”!

Buttoneer was a product made (and fervently marketed) by Ronco – the company that made gadgets that you didn’t realise you needed (and you probably still didn’t even after you’d bought them?)

Wondering what I’m on about?  Well here’s an advert straight from 1973 to remind you.  Unfortunately it is an American version (all of the UK ones are probably long gone) but it shows the product just as I remember it.

Amazgingly, you can still find online stores that still sell the Buttoneer.  But no sign of the Ronco name on them anymore, though the Ronco name lives on elsewhere.

Maybe we didn’t actually need Ronco Buttoneers after all…

Our Secret New Creation Is…

Cracking Christmas Pudding Boiled Sweets!

Nope, it’s not April 1st.   These are real!

How brilliant is that?

Somehow our master sweet maker (who also created our “Best Rhubarb and Custards You Have Ever Tasted“) has managed to cram all the delicious flavours that you associate with sumptuous, rich, gooey, sticky christmas puddings… into a boiled sweet!

And in the middle there’s a delicious almondy paste… which leaves you with a delicious nutty, fruity, hint of rum and a myriad other flavours… taste in your mouth.

They are a result of:

  1. our very fertile imaginations
  2. the magic ‘take an idea and turn it into reality’ sweet making genius of our master sweet maker
  3. our “wouldn’t it be good to have a sweet that tastes of…” brainstorming sessions. (Do you have any ideas for our next creation?)
Cracking Christmas Puds - Christmas Pudding Flavour Boiled sweets

Cracking Christmas Puds - Stunning Christmas Pudding Flavour Boiled Sweets

Our Cracking Christmas Puds are exclusive to us at A Quarter Of… (can you even imagine anyone else coming up with this sort of thing???) and we have a very limited quantity of these delicious Christmas Pudding boiled sweets as you can imagine.

You just have to try them to appreciate how good they are… while you still can!

5 Things That Make A Great Old Fashioned Sweets Hamper

A Fab Old Fashioned Sweets Hamper - Our Whopping Retro Hamper

A Fab Old Fashioned Sweets Hamper - Our Whopping Retro Hamper

When we are dreaming up new ideas for our online sweetshop, we always try to work out what makes an item really nostalgic.  Hence the question… “What Makes A Great Old Fashioned Sweets Hamper?”

We decided that there are a number of essential elements that differentiate between rubbish and good let alone between good and great.  And this is the list that we came up with:

  1. a truly great old fashioned sweets hamper must be a proper wicker, picnic basket type affair.  Some companies, with much lower standards, now call pathetic little efforts in cardboard boxes ‘hampers’ but who are they trying to kid?
  2. the hamper must contain a really good mixture of proper old fashioned sweets and the best of the more modern ones – giving a truly nostalgic feel.  There are lots of cheap copies of sweets around, but they just bring disappointment not feelings of joyous nostalgia
  3. if there’s any space in the hamper then add in old fashioned style toys like water bombs and whoopee cushions – the sort of things that the Joker in Whizzer and Chips used to use to cause such mayhem.  Speaking of which, if the hamper can hold it… put in a proper retro comic too!
  4. the hamper must not contain filling to bulk it out.  No polystyrene, no shredded paper, not even straw or hay. Nada.  If there are any gaps, cram some more sweets in (we do!)
  5. a truly great old fashioned sweets hamper should be huge!  The sort of size that, when you were little, you could have climbed into.  Yes, give a selection of sizes for people to choose from, but make sure that one is the size that every small child dreamed of diving in to (I know I did… didn’t you?)

Simple isn’t it?  And we made sure that our old fashioned sweets hamper range meets all of these criteria (and quite a few other secret ones too!).  It’s what makes them so incredibly popular, and the perfect Christmas gifts.