Coconut Caramel Flop

A Bit of Schatz History
by Steve Schatz (


During the depression, Grandpa Schatz took over the tobacco and sweet shop from his (I’ve heard brother or father) so the shop would go bankrupt in his name. Bankruptcy had a much greater stigma then, so Grandpa did it to save the brother/father the shame of going bankrupt.


He did manage to keep open, however had a very small stock on hand (since he couldn’t order on credit). So, he put cupboard doors on all the shelves, so the customers didn’t see a store full of empty shelves. Instead, when they asked for something, he would consider and say, “I think I saw that up in the _____ cupboard.” Then, he’d climb up and fetch down the one box, not showing the customer that there was only one box in an otherwise empty cupboard.


Naomi covered the story of paying back all the debts in her great presentation.


One of the benefits of his honesty was that during world war II, when there was sugar rationing, grandpop always had candy from those suppliers who he paid back when he didn’t have to. In the store, they also had a post office, so people would buy the candy and then send the boxes to their “boys overseas”. The grandparents made a bit of money from this. So, they were up at dawn. Worked all day in the shop. Delivered candy to the movie theaters (that’s another story). Then, came back to wrap packages until the wee hours.

NOW to the flop.

In addition to keeping Grandpa in chocolate, the candy salesmen would occasionally offer him “deals”. One time he was offered ½ a ton of wormy chocolate. The worms were gone (or so Dad says) and they certainly would “disperse” while cooking, but who could sell ½ ton of chocolate that was full of obvious worm holes?

Grandpa took the whole batch.

Dad remembers his mother saying, “Henry! What are you going to do with a ½ a ton of wormy chocolate?”

“Hush Gertie,” was his reply, as he pulled down the candy making pots.

He melted the chocolate and stirred in nuts, caramel, and coconut. With a spoon, he lay a dollop of the stuff on a square of wax paper. He named them “Coconut Caramel Flop” and sold them in the store and at movie theaters. They were a big hit.

Dad remembers that they were good AND they looked like dog poo.


So, never doubt the inventiveness of a Schatz, a name that shall ever more go down in history beside Coconut Caramel Flop.


I’ll Post this on my writing site, . Family members have free use to proudly proclaim.