Thursday, 8 March 2012

Wigan - Uncle Joe's Emporium

Uncle Joe, and his celebrated mint balls (immortalised by Mike Harding's song), have already had several mentions in this blog, so I decided it was time I made a pilgrimage to Wigan to visit their celebrated emporium! 

Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls are still manufactured in the traditional way over open gas fires, using only three natural ingredients (golden brown sugar, cream of tartar, and  oil of peppermint) but to a secret recipe.  They’re free from artificial colours and flavours, GM and gluten free, and are suitable for vegetarians etc.
William Santus, the founder of the company that makes Uncle Joe's mint balls, started off over a hundred years ago making sweets and selling them in market stalls in Wigan, Bolton and St Helens.  They became regular snacks at football and rugby matches in the area, and there's usually a bag in my rucksack when I go hiking.   
Inside the shop there's over 140 jars full of traditional sweets like Humbugs, Menthol & Eucalyptus, Pear Drops, Pontefract Cakes, Sarsaparilla Drops, and Toasted Tea-Cakes and also more modern sweets. 

There's also a wide range of other Uncle Joe themed items, like golf balls, mugs, model vans and umbrellas.  You can also buy "A Sweet Story" - the story of Uncle Joe.  

I don't normally cover clothing in this blog, but if you're fashion conscious you can buy an Uncle Joe's tie or t-shirt:
If you can't get to Wigan, Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls are sold in a wide range of outlets including Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Bloomingdales in New York and on-line to satisfy world wide demand!

Sadly, since writing this review, Uncle Joe’s Emporium in Wigan has closed down.  You can still buy Uncle Joe's mintballs (and other products) from numerous shops in the area.



Anonymous said...

So what's natural about cream of tartar?

Anonymous said...

This shop has now sadly closed down. Walked past it today and it's all gone. :(