Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published December 12th 2014
To M-erald City
Head down the sweeties isle in the supermarket and you are sure to find those multi-coloured hard candy coated chocolates called M&Ms. There will be about thirty centimetres of shelf space dedicated to this confectionery. How much more do you need?
Apparently a lot. You have to see it to believe it, but Leicester Square has a shop with an expansive four floors, featuring nothing but glorious M&Ms. Welcome to M&Ms World.
As soon as you step through the door you are hit with that familiar sweet scent of M&Ms chocolate and the results of a rainbow's super sneeze. It is a sensory overload that releases the inner child.
Mars introduced M&Ms to the US in 1941 after the founder's son, Forrest Mars Sr. copied Rowntree's Smarties. They are named after Mars and Bruce Murrie from Hershey, who had a 20% share in the product. Now there are over a dozen varieties sold worldwide.
Still, four floors? Is it really possible? If all that was there were sweets, then no, but M&Ms are far more than just chocolate, they are a brand. And a very popular one in that. People love the characters. Giant candy with personality, what's not to love?
Red and Yellow are the main mascots, but there's also Blue, Miss Green, Crispy Orange, and Ms Brown. All of whom can be seen in store in many forms, whether that be as statues, figurines, toys, apparel, or employees in costumes.
At the entrance you can see the one M5 Bus of Leicester Square. Blue is at the Wheel, but he does not seem to be in a rush to get anywhere.
Just as well, because if he drove forward a few more inches, he'd run over the fashionable Miss Green in her pyjamas. But who cares if the bus is at a permanent bus stop? Who would want to leave this place?
Miss Green may be fashion conscious, but she's also eco-concsious. Visit her green room for a whole host of fashion accessories made from recycled packaging materials. For example, each Mitz bag is a one of a kind handmade creation by artisans from Sao Paulo, and a percentage of the sales are returned not only to the maker, but also to building schools.
There is apparel for every M&M character, so whichever is your favourite, there's no shortage of choice. They have t-shirts, pjs, jackets, underwear, wellies, hats, jewellery, etc, for both adults and children.
Once you've accessorised yourself, accessorise your home with cushions, towels, and kitchenware.
Other merchandise includes accessories for gadgets, such as mouse mats, phone cases, laptop bags, and so on.
There are lots of ways to get personal with your M&Ms, from a photo booth to printing service, to a mood meter, which will determine which colour personality you have.
The M&Ms gang certainly get about. As you travel to the top floor, you can admire a family portrait album. Did you know Blue was related to Shakespeare, Miss Green is a descendant of the Royal Family, and Red's grandfather was in the RAF?
All this fame can get to one's head, as you can see on the bottom level, where they recreate the famous Abbey Road scene.
Let's not forget what all this is based around though. Hard shelled chocolate candy. Well they have that in ample supply. You can buy them in bottles or go to the pick-'n-mix section to fill a bag with all your favourites.