Written by Azella LaFever (Features Writer)
Marinis candy store is a locally owned business handed down from generation to generation and has something for everyone in the family. It opened in 1980 and has rows of homemade chocolate, taffy, and caramel. Marini’s has many different locations in Santa Cruz; they have one on the wharf, one on the boardwalk, and one on Ingalls Street. Marini’s was started by an Italian immigrant named Victor Marini and has been passed down from generation to generation and is now owned by Victor great- great- grandson Joe Marini the third.
Marini’s has many different options for your sweet tooth; the most popular is their famous homemade saltwater taffy. The taffy comes in a variety of flavors including Butter Toffee, Molasses, Pina Colada, Strawberry, Raspberry, Vanilla, Watermelon, and Peanut Butter. It’s made in the same machine from 1932 and is still wrapped in the original packaging from when the shop was first opened. The taffy is hand-mixed every morning, and still uses the original recipe handed down by Joe’s great-great-grandfather. The craziest flavor ever made was the brussel sprout taffy.
With this pandemic, everything has changed including the experience at Marini’s. In order to follow state and federal guidelines, Marini has set rules to keep everyone safe. When you first walk up to Marini’s there is usually a line because of the great sweets and set capacity. When you get to the front of the line they offer hand sanitizer and then you are able to walk in with a mask. From there you are able to pick out whatever you want. I went with the vanilla taffy and the chocolate-covered marshmallow.
Some other favorites from Marini’s are the candy apples; there are a variety of different flavors. Marini’s has many exciting flavors and decorations for their apples. There is a tuxedo apple, cinnamon candy apple, apple pie caramel apple, and even caramel apples with walnuts. Marinis also offers homemade fudge, toffees, and chocolates. Marini’s also offers chocolate-covered bacon, and dark chocolate orange peels, ice cream, and even shaved ice.
Marini’s is a great local choice to soothe your sweet tooth, I especially like Marini’s because they are all about tradition but yet they are still keeping up with the times. Every time I am on the wharf I always stop and get a desert there whether it is ice cream, chocolate, or their famous saltwater taffy. I would recommend Marini’s to anyone who loves to eat locally and to anyone who loves sweets.