Where to Get Salt Water Taffy in NJ

by Peter Candia
Where to get salt water taffy in nj

Salt water taffy is one of the most popular boardwalk treats each summer. While you unwrap dozens of the colorful, chewy confection, do you ever stop to think about where it all started? Its origins can be traced back to the late 19th Century, right here in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

The exact origins of salt water taffy are a subject of debate and speculation. According to one popular legend, the term “salt water taffy” came about after a severe storm hit Atlantic City sometime in the late 1800s. The storm caused flooding, and the rising seawater flooded the candy store of a confectioner named David Bradley. As a result, the taffy in his shop became soaked in salt water. When a young girl came into the store and asked if they had any taffy, Bradley jokingly referred to it as “salt water taffy.” The name stuck, and he began selling the taffy under this new moniker. The rest is history—or, is it?

salt water taffy

Another story suggests that the name “salt water taffy” was coined as a marketing ploy to attract tourists. The idea was to create a novelty around the candy by associating it with the nearby ocean. Regardless of its true origin, we all know it as salt water taffy today.

Salt water taffy quickly gained popularity among Atlantic City toursits. Its chewy texture and variety of flavors made it an instant hit. Entrepreneurs recognized the confection’s potential and began selling salt water taffy in their own shops along the Atlantic City boardwalk. The pulling and stretching process of taffy-making became a spectacle for tourists, as they watched confectioners work the taffy on large marble slabs. Shops all over the Jersey Shore still stretch taffy in front of guests today.

@johnnynutz Taffy Stretching #taffy #soothingvideos ♬ Piano Song – Piano

Originally, salt water taffy was made using traditional taffy recipes, which typically involved sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt water, and flavorings. However, salt water was swapped out for fresh water as time went on, and the name became more of an homage to its origins rather than a literal definition. 

Throughout the 20th century, salt water taffy continued to grow in popularity and became associated with seaside towns and boardwalks across the United States. Various taffy companies emerged, offering an array of flavors and packaging options. During the summer, salt water taffy is a must-have when visiting any of New Jersey’s beaches and boardwalks. Whether you like chocolate, vanilla or one of the other hundreds of flavors, here is where to get salt water taffy in NJ. 

James Candy Company – Cape May and Atlantic City, NJ

James Candy Company began making salt water taffy in 1880 and has been an Atlantic City boardwalk staple ever since. The top-secret recipe has been passed down for generations, which is enjoyed by thousands of beach-goers each and every summer. Whether you’re in AC or Cape May, you can enjoy New Jersey’s most famous taffy.

Fralinger’s – Atlantic City, Ocean City and Cape May, NJ

Often called “The King of Salt Water Taffy,” Joseph Fralinger began making taffy in 1885 and selling it on the AC boardwalk. The savvy businessman eventually marketed the product to the top and it remains one of the most popular NJ taffy brands today. It can be found in its own storefronts as well as James Candy Company and others. Fralinger’s is often considered the most iconic taffy in the world—and for good reason. 


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Shriver’s – Ocean City, NJ

Shriver’s is the longest-standing business on the Ocean City boardwalk. Its history dates back to 1898 when William Shriver established a restaurant, ice cream parlor, and confectionery store under the name of Shriver’s. In 1959, a group of four brothers who owned the Dairy Maid Confectionery Company—a prominent candy and ice cream shop in Philadelphia—acquired Shriver’s. Today, their candies and sweets are shipped worldwide.


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Johnson’s Popcorn – Ocean City, NJ

Johnson’s has been serving the Ocean City boardwalk since 1940. Though Johnson’s Popcorn’s main focus is, well, popcorn, they proudly carry the local Shriver’s taffy as well. Maybe you can’t decide which boardwalk delicacy you want to take home—fresh popcorn or taffy. Johnson’s begs the question: Why not both?

Johnson's Popcorn

George’s Candies – Ocean City, NJ

George’s is another boardwalk staple. Since 1954, locals and tourists have flocked to the store for homemade taffy, fudge and much more. In addition  to the usual sweets, George’s offers a pretty stellar breakfast menu as well, making it a destination that can satisfy more than one craving. 

Laura’s Fudge – Wildwood, NJ

Butter creams, fudge, chocolate turtles—you name it and Laura’s probably has it. But, the salt water taffy is what keeps many coming back year after year. When visiting Wildwood, a stop at Laura’s is a necessity for all things sweets and treats. 

Douglass Fudge – Wildwood, NJ

Since 1919, Douglass Fudge has been dishing out sweets and the like to Wildwood beach-goers. A century later and practically nothing has changed. Of the treats at Douglass Fudge is none other than salt water taffy, which is a favorite amongst regulars due to its nostalgic flavor and whimsical texture. 

Vanilla Long Taffy

Van Holten’s Chocolates – Seaside Heights, NJ

For nearly 120 years, Van Holten’s has been a staple in Seaside Heights. Though chocolate is their pride and joy, salt water taffy is another popular treat made and sold at Van Holten’s. So, if you’re visiting the famous shore town to see where Pauly and Snookie rose to fame, be sure to stop into Van Holten’s for some taffy and chocolates. 

River Street Sweets – Asbury Park, NJ

River Street Sweets actually started in Savannah, Georgia but their reach has extended to Asbury Park. It is a full circle type of business—with taffy starting here in Jersey, extending to the coastal towns of the south and eventually ending up right back where it all began. Salt water taffy, gourmet popcorn, turtles, pralines and more are available to purchase.


Did we miss your favorite salt water taffy spot? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author/s

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Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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