Yippy I-O: Jackson Hole’s Sweet Spot
Beloved candy emporium celebrates 25th birthday this summer
Yippy I-O Candy Company is nestled just off Town Square. It’s a delightfully sweet mecca filled with a dizzying amount of wooden barrels and other containers overflowing with more than 1,000 of your favorite candies.
A Jackson Hole favorite for 25 years and counting, the good old-fashioned candy store is known to be both a first and last stop for visitors who faithfully make their way to the candy emporium every year.
“We are a tradition for people every year,” says owner Lynn Jamison. “Half the time people come straight from airport! “
The candy store opened in 1993 and Jamison bought it in 1995 after spending numerous summers in Jackson Hole for family business.
“Owning a candy store is the best job ever,” Lynn says, “since I’m a kid at heart. We sell memories and make people smile.”
The amount and type of candy found within Yippy I-O is pretty astounding. And the some of the names are downright nostalgic: Mary Janes. Clark Bars, Bit ‘O Honey, Baby Bottle Pops.
“It’s fun when little kids come in, see a piece of candy and say ‘Omigosh I haven’t seen this since I was a kid!’” Lynn says. “Its cute. When adults say it I know what they mean. It cracks me up with the kids, because aren’t they still a kid?”
Inside the store — chockfull of barrels, bins and jars of candy — are all manner of gummies, hard candies, toffee, 50 different kinds of Jelly Belly’s, more than a dozen hand dipped chocolates, 20 flavors of homemade fudge and 50 different flavors of salt-water taffy.
Their taffy is, hands-down, my addiction. There are expected flavors such as chocolate and vanilla as well as the unexpected — watermelon, cotton candy and bubblegum, just to name a few. I may or may not be known to pop a dozen pieces into my mouth in less than half an hour.
Yippy I-O’s homemade fudge is also available in fun flavors during the summertime including candy bar, Harry Potter’s Butterbeer, raspberry lemonade, banana cream pie, Key lime pie and jelly donut.
“It’s fun to experiment,” Lynn says, “and we keep the fudge fresh all the time.”
The store carries most everything huckleberry because Jackson Hole is all about native-grown huckleberries, especially in the summer. Year-round you can indulge your huckleberry cravings with things like huckleberry jam, barbecue sauce, jellybeans, taffy, caramels, etc.
Are you diabetic and all this verbiage about sugar-laden treats is getting you down? No worries — Yippy I-O also carries sugar-free, diabetic candy!
Non-candy items for purchase include jerky in numerous flavors such as traditional beef, cowboy jerky, regional buffalo and elk jerky. And the store also has more than 1,000 nostalgic tin signs hanging on every wall. Lining the shelves are vintage tin lunch boxes adorned with icons of yore such as Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, plus various Disney characters and the proverbial “more.”
In addition, the store features locally- and Wyoming-made products both edible and non: seasonings, rubs, barbecue sauce, Teton Valley Mustard, candles, hand lotions made from bee wax and goat’s milk.
Lynn loves the fact that she and her employees have personal relationships with hundreds and hundreds of customers. She says she has seen kids grow up who now come into the store with children of their own. Clearly checking out Yippy I-O is a long-standing family tradition during trips to Jackson.
“The store brings out the kid in people,” says Lynn. “If you’re not happy when you walk in, I guarantee you will walk out happy.”