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Rust Belt Club

Ma & Pop's Malts, Popcorn, and Candy Shoppe Toddler Tee (Color)

Ma & Pop's Malts, Popcorn, and Candy Shoppe Toddler Tee (Color)

Regular price $19.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $19.99 USD
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Time to truly become the coolest kid on the block with a Rust Belt Club tee for the little ones!


In the heart of Indiana, in a quaint town named Maplewood, stood a charming little store with a red and white striped awning: "Ma & Pop's Malts, Popcorn, and Candy Shoppe." Established in 1931 by the young couple, Eleanor and Jacob Thompson, it quickly became a beloved institution. The townsfolk would often say, "A visit to Maplewood isn't complete without a malt from Ma & Pop's."

The Thompsons were known for their dedication. Eleanor, with her rosy cheeks, would greet every customer with a warm smile, while Jacob, with his signature suspenders, would be behind the counter, crafting the perfect malt or popcorn treat. Their candy jars, filled to the brim, were a sight to behold, and children would often press their noses against the glass displays, eyes wide with wonder.

By the 1950s, the shop had expanded, occupying two adjacent buildings. The Thompsons had two children, Lucy and George, who were being groomed to take over the family business. Life was sweet, both literally and figuratively.

However, as the 60s rolled in, so did a shadow of intrigue. A suave Italian named Antonio Ricci began frequenting the shop. He was always impeccably dressed, with a fedora tilted just so, and a mysterious aura. Antonio took a particular liking to the shop's caramel popcorn, but it wasn't just the treats that brought him back. He saw potential in the booming business and wanted a piece of the pie.

Antonio was a known figure in the Italian mafia. He approached Jacob with an offer to "protect" the shop for a small fee. Initially, Jacob declined, but a series of unfortunate events - a broken window, spoiled candy batches, and a mysterious fire in the storage room - made him reconsider. Reluctantly, Jacob agreed to Antonio's terms.

With the mafia's backing, the shop's success skyrocketed. They introduced new products, and their malts and candies started getting shipped nationwide. Antonio ensured that any competition was quickly and quietly snuffed out. The Thompsons were living the American dream, but at a price.

Lucy and George, now adults, were unaware of their parents' ties with the mafia. Lucy, with her entrepreneurial spirit, opened branches in other states, while George, with his flair for flavors, introduced exotic candies and malts. The shop was featured in national magazines, and celebrities would make detours to visit.

However, by the late 80s, Antonio's demands grew. He wanted a larger cut, and he wanted George's innovative recipes. When Jacob and Eleanor resisted, tensions escalated. One fateful night, Jacob was found in the shop, unconscious, surrounded by shattered candy jars. The message was clear.

Eleanor, fearing for her family, decided to sever ties with the mafia. She approached the FBI and became an informant. The next few years were a whirlwind of covert meetings, wiretappings, and hidden cameras. The shop became the epicenter of one of the largest mafia crackdowns in Indiana.

The exposure was a double-edged sword. While the mafia's grip was loosened, the shop's reputation suffered. Customers were hesitant to visit, fearing it was bugged or under surveillance. Sales plummeted.

Lucy and George, now aware of the dark secrets, were torn. Lucy wanted to sell and move on, while George wanted to rebuild their tarnished legacy. Their disagreements strained their relationship.

The 2000s saw a resurgence in the shop's popularity, driven by nostalgia and a new generation unaware of its past. George, with his children, revamped the shop, introducing modern flavors while retaining its old-world charm.

However, the scars of the past ran deep. The family was fractured, with Lucy distancing herself and Eleanor passing away, heartbroken by the shop's tumultuous journey.

In 2013, on its 82nd anniversary, "Ma & Pop's Malts, Popcorn, and Candy Shoppe" closed its doors. While the mafia ties had been its rise, they had also been its downfall. The shop, which had once symbolized joy and innocence, became a cautionary tale of ambition, betrayal, and the price of success.



• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz/yd² (142 g/m²)
• Relaxed fit for extra comfort
• Side-seamed construction
• Pre-shrunk fabric



2T 12 15 ½ 30-33 92 2
3T 13 16 ½ 33-36 98 3
4T 14 17 ½ 36-40 104 4
5T 15 18 ½ 40-45 110 5
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