Many will recall the days when Chris Tozios was proprietor of the Olympia Tea Room and the long soda bar that graced the east side of the Tea Room while the show cases on the west side were lined with more varieties of candies and goodies than one could ever imagine.
The Olympia was also noted for its' excellent ice cream that was manufactured on the premises by Ernie Riley who also assisted George Shippas in the candy making operation.
There were out-of-town business people who would come to the Olympia to buy five gallon cans of ice cream that was transported in specially insulated containers and packed in dry ice.
I especially recall the soda bar where customers would hop up on a stool and place an order with the "soda jerk" who was on duty. It might be a chocolate or fruit David Harem, a banana split, hot fudge sundae, a chocolate sundae smothered with peanuts or walnuts. There were those who wanted two or three flavors of ice cream in a tall container and a variety of fruit poured over the top.
Remember ordering a popular drink called Cherry Cola? This, of course, was merely a draught Coca Cola with a shot of cherry flavoring added to it but there was a multitude of "soda" drink flavours available for the asking.
Having Ernie as an uncle helped me gain access to the back where they manufactured all kinds of candy. I vividly recall him and Shippas making candy canes for the Christmas Season and all sorts of goodies for the Easter rush.
George Shippas was always the practical joker and I recall him offering me one of the fresh chocolates he had just made. I didn't need any coaxing and immediately popped it into my mouth. Well, I doubt if it took me five seconds before I spit it out and ran to the nearest tap for a cold glass of water. Shippas had loaded a number of these chocolates with red pepper as "April Fool's Day" treats to give to folks as a joke. I am sure it took the best part of an hour to put the fire out in my mouth.
The selection of candy and chocolates was vast. Horehound, Turkish Delight, Marshmallows rolled in toasted coconut, licorice all sorts, peanut brittle, coconut brittle, fresh butterscotch discs about the size of a fifty-cents piece and any number of chocolate coated nuts such a peanuts, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazel nuts and the list goes on. That candy counter was heaven for those who loved sweets.
The quality of the food at the Olympia was well known far and wide and still remains an outstanding place to relax over an excellent meal!