There probably is not a person born and raised in Stark County that does not have a Heggy’s story. For generations now, people have enjoyed the wonderful variety of confections made by the local candy maker. A holiday package of Heggy’s chocolates is not only welcomed, but as much a part of the holiday season as any other tradition.
For members of the Alliance community, Heggy’s on Main Street was a local landmark and hangout for decades. Jack Sell and his family and employees made sure not only were you well fed, but that your sweet tooth was satisfied and that there was also a bag or box of sweets to take home.
My Heggy’s story starts with the fact that my Dad, Jack McMahon, had his “second” job working at Heggy’s in the evenings. In that period following WWII, it just was an excepted fact that many Americans worked a side job along with their full-time one. By day, my Dad worked as a mail carrier in the Downtown Post Office. Then on some evenings, he went around the corner and worked the counter at Heggy’s. Dad knew Jack Sell long before I was born. They both bowled together for the Heggy’s team on Wednesday nights at the Christopher Columbus bowling lanes. My two oldest brothers had counter jobs along with Dad in the 1960s.
Growing up, there was always Heggy’s ice cream in the refrigerator freezer. It was not there for just every night of the week, but for Sunday evenings, usually when The Wonderful World of Disney came on. What was really neat was that Dad helped make and pack the ice cream. And he usually always had a stash of candy somewhere. In grade school, my lunch bags were recycled Heggy’s bags.
Now the main focus of my story has to do with something that was exclusive to the Alliance location. How many of you remember the donuts at Heggy’s? They were just plain cake donuts, sometimes referred to today as old fashioned. And they came two ways, plain or with powered sugar. We grew up eating those donuts, a lot of them. I never got to see the machine that made them, but from what I had been told it was an old machine. And partly because of that, the inside hole was never true. They always had a ragged edge on the inside hole, and that part would get a little bit crispy. Since the machine was old, it would sometimes have issues. I have heard more than a couple stories mention it was my Dad who fixed it and kept it going over the years.
Some years ago just before his health started to fail, I asked Jack’s son Mike whatever happed to that machine. He said it was left behind at the Main Street store, and fell into disrepair. No more donuts with the ragged inside edge.
Now here is a story that many of you will relate to. Every Easter we would get a Heggy’s chocolate bunny rabbit. Not a small one, and not a hollow one like some candy companies tried to sell you, but a solid, 16 oz. bunny with the big ears. And of course the ears were always the first to go! Easter is almost here…
What is your favorite Heggy’s Story?
Submitted by Dave McMahon