We’ve heard rumours of a local shop that offers a great range of lollies in jars, and today — in honour of Brioni’s fifth birthday — we tracked it down and let the girls choose a selection of colourful sweets!

The little town of Te Kopuru is nine kilometres south of Dargaville and features little more than houses, a school and a sports field. We’ve driven through hundreds of similar country towns without stopping. But today we pulled into the local “dairy” — which is what Kiwis call their corner store — and browsed their terrific range of candy jars.

Lollies at the Te Koporu shop, August 2011
Although it serves as the little town's main grocery outlet, the Really Good Shop offers an extraordinary range of lollies in jars. Most are priced at 10 cents each, and the expensive sweets are 60 cents each.

Choosing lollies at Te Kopuru, August 2011
Because they were overwhelmed at first and just wanted to choose from the jars in front of their noses, I directed the girls' attention to the candies that were further along the shelves and placed above their eye level.

Choosing lollies at Te Kopuru, August 2011
Aisha was very decisive and was the first to choose her lollies. Calista followed her oldest sister's lead (and later bitterly regretted missing out on a rainbow lollipop that Brioni enjoyed very much).

Choosing lollies at Te Kopuru, August 2011
Brioni's style was more thoughtful. She browsed along the shelves a bit more and spied a red licorice strap on the top shelf.

Choosing lollies at Te Kopuru, August 2011
Choosing and eating special sweets is a terrific way to mark a special occasion, and our three lolly bags cost a grand total of $6!

The three older girls ate the contents of their paper bags very quickly. Delaney slept through the sugar binge and has no idea that she missed out on anything! Aisha asked if we can return to this lolly shop for her birthday, but we made no promises. Who knows where we’ll be next February?