If you’re a Washington State South Sound resident, I’m sure you’re probably aware of Brown & Haley. You’ve probably sampled some of their products, ranging from good ol’ toothcracking Almond Roca to blob-like Mountain Bars and seen their plant peeking out from underneath I-705. While I’ve been to the outlet store located right at the factory a handful of times (and picked up things like tasty Milk Toffee Roca Buttercrunch Thins) this time I ventured out to Fife, just a few miles down the highway where Brown & Haley just opened a new warehouse outlet in August (and where the headquarters is also now based).
I was pied piper by a highway billboard noting that the outlet was somewhere on 20th Street. Headlined by a giant ALMOND ROCA sign, it’s on the same road that features several warehouses and car dealerships. My GPS couldn’t find it so I cruised down the road (subsequently avoiding 4pm rush hour traffic going south). Trying to avoid dropping by for no reason at all and most likely purchasing 30 lbs. of Almond Roca for myself to eat alone in the apartment, I remembered that it was a relative’s birthday coming up. Yes! I had a valid reason to be at a discount candy store with $5 burning a hole in my pocket.
Now some people may say, “Wait, $5? That’s like a value meal at McDonald’s. How much candy you gonna get?” That’s the beauty of a factory outlet. In addition to seasonal items (i.e. Candy Cane Roca) and discontinued items, they also have Almond Roca pieces lovingly known as “bloopers” or “boo-boos” (I guess the tub of “REJECT ALLMOND ROOCA” didn’t sell too well).
Fun Fact: Apparently Almond Roca is pretty popular in China. No news on Tacoma hiring any local “Roca Angels” to popularize the product here.
The store is a bit bigger that the outlet in Tacoma next to the plant, but also has more products and Brown & Haley memorabilia in the back like old promo materials and a chocolate melting pot (at least, I think that’s what it was. Could be a torture device for all I know).
You have know idea how hard it is to not splurge when a large percentage of the products are under a buck. But I came here on a mission. I’m only buying some gift items. Nothing for myself. Must resist.
I picked up several Mountain Bars, some Candy Cane Roca and some exotic Macadamia Roca (I feel like the fat content on the nutritional facts would just be an infinity symbol). I almost picked up a bag of sugar free Almond Roca for myself (I worked out that morning!) but I realized I would inhale it and slowly backed away. I even managed to deflect the alluring bag of the Roca toffee crunch (imagine a crushed up Almond Roca core).
Oh, hey, Halloween is coming. Well…I guess I could pick up a box of 100+ Mountain Bars for Trick or (Tricker) Treaters…
I slowly made my way up to the front and plunked down my purchase on the counter. Total price: $1.49
Okay, so I didn’t go overboard on the goods and I didn’t even break my $5 limit (or even half of that). All in all, a good place to go if you need some quick sugar, some for a gift or have out of town visitors and want to impress them with our delicious local product. Also they have free samples.
Honestly, I’ll probably just continue shopping at the Tacoma location. Yes, it is a bit smaller, but you don’t have to fight Fife traffic and if you’re already downtown then it’s just a Link, skip & a hop away. Exercise is just the the thing I need after binging on a whole plastic tub of Peppermint Boos Boos anyway.