Penny Candy on Blackstone

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Do you remember the Country Boys Market with its wooden floors? Walter Smiths was the place to go for clothes on the Fulton Mall. Penny Candy had great blacklight posters and don't forget Whitie's Pet Store on Blackstone. What vintage retail do you remember growing up in Fresno?
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Guest

Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby Guest » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:43 am

Was Carol Gustonian the same person that ran Penny Candy on Blackstone in the early 70's?

Christopher Stone
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:53 pm

Re: Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby Christopher Stone » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:12 am

I believe the answer is "Yes!"


cabeef

Re: Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby cabeef » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:41 am

OMG, Penny Candy! I used to go there in the late 70s/early 80s and buy punk/new wave T-shirts and buttons like: Devo, Adam and the Ants, Black Flag, Sex Pistols, etc. This shop was the granddaddy/precursor to today's Hot Topic mall store chain. Great memories of this tiny cool store crammed with stuck on Blackstone.

69GT
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:46 pm

Re: Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby 69GT » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:09 pm

Isn't the Penny Candy sign still up on the abandoned building on Blackstone?
Attachments
penny1.jpg
Click to Enlarge

Long time Fresnan

Re: Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby Long time Fresnan » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:56 pm

Yes the sign still is there as its the building. I think so is the stock. Rumor has it the old gal just got fed up with, people "window shopping" so she started charging people a fee to walk in the door. This pretty much killed her business, so one day she just locked up the doors and never returned, I heard she owned most of that block and makes more than enough money off that investment and doesnt need to reopen Penny Candy. Least thats what I heard. I used to love shopping there and checking out what they had.
Attachments
original_penny_sign.jpg
Click to Enlarge

Rodney
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:44 pm

Re: Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby Rodney » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:28 am

An interesting story I heard back in the late '60s was that when Penny Candy first opened (1967?), it was subject to considerable police harassment, ostensibly because it sold "drug paraphernalia," but more likely because the police didn't like the "hippies" that patronized it.

The story goes that Gussie remembered that when the Orange Ogre was open, one of her regular customers was a young Fresno State student who went on to land a top position with local law enforcement (I won't name names or be more specific). She paid him a visit, and told him if the harassment didn't stop, she would "out" him as the closeted gay man that he was (he was married by then). And so---it stopped!

Stan the Man
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:13 pm

Re: Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby Stan the Man » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:46 am

Wondering if old Carol is still vertical? Gotta love those sixties!

Big J
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Penny Candy on Blackstone

Postby Big J » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:05 pm

This is true. Toward the end she charged a buck to come in, which went toward your purchase if you bought something. Otherwise your buck was gone. Then she closed. Someone said she's VERY active on eBay, still getting rid of all that old stuff.
Attachments
The_Fresno_Bee_The_Republican_Wed__Dec_18__1968_.jpg
Click to Enlarge - Fresno Bee / Dec. 18, 1968

LisaMarquise
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:44 am

Re: Gay & Lesbian Lost Fresno

Postby LisaMarquise » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:44 pm

My mom was a good friend of Carols and we used to go by Penny Candy all the time. In the 60's I got lots of groovy stuff for my room there, like posters and a psychedelic fringed paper lamp that hung in my room until college. My brothers used to buy gag stuff like fake barf and rubber chickens. I loved that store. In the late 90's I went by and it was closed but still crammed with stuff. I was like 'WTF'?!

THANK YOU to all who posted what happened to the store and Carol. I've wondered! I didn't know she started charging a dollar to go in, but it sounds about right. She was always really nice to my mom and all of us, being like minded liberal friends, but she could be kind of loud, at times with customers, and she sort of scared me when I was younger. She was large, loud and proud, and wore colorful mu-mu's sometimes, as I recall.

I think she tried to start a poster printing business in the late 70's, which failed, and I'm sorry to say was quite possibly inspired and encouraged by my parents who had a start up self publishing business then called Homestead Press, which also failed. 70's ventures.... My mom and I moved to southern CA years ago when I went to college, and she hasn't talked to Carol in many years. I'm going to see if I can find Carol on ebay and put them in touch. If anyone knows her or how to get hold of her, please let me know. I didn't know she owned all those other places.

Guest

Re: Gay & Lesbian Lost Fresno

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:04 pm

If Carol knew you she wouldn't change you. The only time I had to pay is when there were people coming in at the same time and she tell me "I'm sorry honey but I dont want anyone seeing me letting you in for free". I really don't know why people got pissed off for having to pay 50 cents, that money was put towards whatever you bought. I could understand where she was coming from, the store was cramped enough so people would come in and just look and a small few would steal from her.
Attachments
The_Fresno_Bee_The_Republican_Sun__Dec_23__1973_.jpg
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - Dec. 23, 1973


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