Rushville Republican

Columns

April 11, 2013

Wolfsie: Jarring experience

RUSHVILLE — The sign in Grannie Fuchs’ store in Metamora is pretty direct: “You break it—you own it.” Fair warning to those who cruise the tiny shop full of items easily shattered. But the admonition also applies to an honor about to be bestowed by the folks at Guinness World Records who agree that once a record is broken you also own it…at least until they say otherwise.

What’s the record we’re talking about? Grannie Fuchs’ little store, officially known as Grannie’s Ice Cream and Cookie Jars, features over 2,500 different cookie jars. Wait, I should be specific. (You know how fussy those Guinness people are.) That would be 2,653, to be exact…and it never changes. Once a jar is sold, it’s quickly replaced on the shelf. That’s the most cookie jars on public display anywhere in the world.

Folks entering the store (open in this location since 2011) are immediately overwhelmed, often thinking they’ve happened upon a museum and not a retail establishment. Many see jars they remember from childhood. “I had my hand slapped several times dipping into that one,” remembers one customer.

Grannie, 77, who suffers from a touch of Alzheimer’s, still maintains an encyclopedic memory of her inventory. On a recent buying trip she picked out 135 jars, each of them unique to the store’s collection. “That’s one thing she never forgets. She’s knows everything we have for sale,” says her daughter Connie, who along with her sister, helps maintain the shop, one of the few in Metamora open year-round.

Where does Grannie find her cookie jars? Estate sales, cookie jar auctions (yes, they exist) and garage sales, where she often gets a really good deal. A jar she buys for three bucks can go for quite a bit more if it’s unusual. You should have gone to the garage sale, yourself.  People also bring their used jars to Grannie, knowing she’ll find a good home for them. She even has a small group of “shoppers” who are also on the lookout for novel items. Most jars are in the $15 to $40 range, but there are a few, like the one with Hopalong Cassidy’s head as the lid, that are limited editions and go for a several hundred bucks.

The jars are not placed willy-nilly on the shelves, but are categorized for easy selection if you do have a motif in mind. Superheroes (Batman, Hulk, Superman, for example), Disney characters (Snow White, Mickey Mouse), Western (Gene Autry, Roy Rogers). Also, Christmas, animals, flowers and jars advertising company products like Quaker Oats. Some are works of art, and others are pretty chintzy looking. Interestingly, many of the jars’ odd shapes make them lousy receptacles for cookies. Some buyers are more collectors than cookie hoarders, but it’s an impulse buy for those who are just browsing. “Once we get folks in the store, it’s hard for them to resist a cookie jar,” says Connie.

Several manufacturers bring in top dollar, especially the McCoy Company. Some makers have used the McCoy name on the bottom of their jars illegally when reproducing the item, thus the origin of the phrase “The Real McCoy.” There are several alternative theories on the genesis of this expression, but this one works best in this story.

The only food they sell is the best darn-tootin’ ice cream in a waffle cone you’ll ever taste. “People wonder why we don’t sell cookies,” says Connie. “I really don’t know why people ask that.” Yeah, what a silly question.

Earlier in this column I noted that Grannie’s store would be in the Guinness World Records, but I have just learned that this has not been made official yet. So, for now, let’s keep a lid on it.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

  • Second hand rose...or fashionista? "Fashion is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma"....John Fairchild 1940's sensible shoes with a '70's midi-skirt. High waist skirts with over the knee boots. Polka dot shirts with bell-bottom pants. Retro fashion is here to stay, and w

    April 11, 2014

  • Mankind is not causing global warming Back on Feb. 26 of this year, an article appeared on FoxNews.com with the following headline, "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific proof humans are dominant cause of warming climate." Here's what Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist and co-founder of

    April 8, 2014

  • One fine day True story here: a long time ago, a young woman from Cincinnati daydreams of growing up and meeting a nice man, getting married, learning to cook, having two children, etc. etc. Eventually, it all comes true for her. Except it all happens in a major

    April 8, 2014

  • It is time we take back our country What ever happened to the America of my youth? That great country that was indeed the jewel of the common person of the world. The country where one could actually, through hard work and industry, make a good living and actually have the OPPORTUNITY

    April 8, 2014

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you've nev

    April 8, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.