How many of us watched “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” growing up and dreamt of being in that room made entirely of lollies or paddling down the chocolate river? For me, the next best thing has always been Tom’s Confectionary Warehouse in Hendra.
I cannot remember a single Easter that we have not ended up at Tom’s Confectionary Warehouse at some ridiculous hour of the night after church on the Thursday before Good Friday. Given that it is open 24 hours in the lead up to Easter until 9pm Easter Sunday night, the novelty of going there has become a tradition that is an obligatory part of Easter celebrations. I have no idea how or even when the late night trek to what I used to call the “chocolate factory” started. We’re usually so organised by that point, that we don’t even need to buy Easter presents. When I was little, my sister and I used to be given a $2 coin each to get whatever we wanted. So we used to challenge ourselves to get the most we could by finding the best bargains… and we always did. It was our one time a year where we were allowed completely free reign in a candy store and we learnt very quickly how we could get the most that we could (in retrospect, this was probably the start of our love for finding amazing bargains). We have filled bags with 5 cent ghost drops and sour warheads to stock up for study, put our money together and bulk bought big tubs of gobstoppers and sour strips and my sister has bought all the different variations of bubble gum (powdered, strips, tubes… she wasn’t allowed gum at any other time of the year).
Given how little refined sugar I now eat, our sugar fuelled chocolate factory escapades make me smile. In spite of this, I still think going to Tom’s Confectionary Warehouse is an unmissable part of Easter. I love giving a $2 coin to our young family friends to see what they can do with it.
This year was made even more special by the fact that my sister flew in a day early (instead of driving for 12 hours on Good Friday) to surprise everyone! We have been planning for weeks how we could keep the whole thing from our family and friends. We both almost slipped up a few times, so the fact that we were able to keep it for so long was an Easter miracle in itself. We have never spent this long apart, so to have her back is beyond incredible; as was seeing the reactions of everybody.
Give me that over Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory any day.