Rocket Fizz (soda pop and candy shop)
944 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
Tell me about the store and your claim to fame.
The store is a small francise out of Camarillo, California. I helped open this one with my buddy from high school and his wife (Colin and Lyndsay Maher). We opened about four and a half years ago and we have been a staple of the Short North ever since.
What are your best sellers?
Our Harry Potter looking butter beer and candy cigarettes.
What is the vibe of the store?
We have over 500 different types of soda at any one time and upwards of a few thousand different candies. We have about 10,000 items that we can order. I’m not sure of the exact date, but I believe the floors are about a hundred years old. People comment about the charm of the “creaky” old floors. The old hardware store look and feel. Everything is for sale, the signs, the posters, the masks, etc.
Sidebar: The music is piped outside. The music is popular and familiar from different eras. For example, “Ain’t too proud to beg” by the Temptations and “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson. This helps to stir up memories of older times.
Are there any flavors that were discontinued?
Recently, black jack and clove just came back. My dad told me that they used to put black jack on their front teeth so it looked like they didn’t have front teeth from a distance.
Clove was originally sold at the pharmacy as a stomach soother. It also was used by smokers to mask the smell.
Sidebar: According to oldtimecandy.com, clove was used to cover the smell of alcohol during prohibition. According to oldtimecandy.com. black jack was the first flavored gum in America (1884).
For research sake, I tasted both gums. The clove had a medicinal taste. I’m not a fan of the licorice flavor, so my assessment of black jack wouldn’t be fair. At first, the licorice taste was overwhelming, but after a while the flavor was almost enjoyable. Both flavors tasted better the longer they were in my mouth.
When we first opened, people were pouring in because co-founder/President Rob Powells went on the TV show, “Undercover Boss”.
My take: I LOVE THE VIBE OF THE STORE. This is a stretch with the vibrant colors but it reminds me of the store set of the Andy Griffith show (if the Andy Griffith show was in color). It is a great place to go to shoot the breeze, go down memory lane, and make new memories.