Dover woman takes pride in Peeps

Tillie Snable, of Dover, has amassed quite a collection of Peeps and Peeps-related merchandise over her 15 years of collecting. She has Peeps for every occasion. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Tillie Snable, of Dover, has amassed quite a collection of Peeps and Peeps-related merchandise over her 15 years of collecting. She has Peeps for every occasion. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER –– For Tillie Snable, of Dover, Peeps are more than a special Easter treat — they’re a year-round passion.

“I’d say it’s been over 15 years that I’ve been collecting,” she said. “I always thought the shapes were so cute and I liked the marshmallow flavor. But since I started collecting them, I can’t eat them anymore.”

But if she chose to start eating the gooey, sweet creations, she’d have a plethora of options. She has boxes and even suitcases full of different one.

“It’s the variety that I like,” she said. “Everywhere I go and for every different holiday, I’ll see something new I’ve never seen before.”

She’s got Peeps for every occasion –– red, white and blue for the Fourth of July, tombstones for Halloween, candy cane and hot chocolate flavors for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day and, of course, pastels for Easter.

Various seasonal colors and shapes have been integrated into the Peeps line since the 1960s but more and more shapes, flavors and colors

Ms. Snable knows that Peeps aren’t just for Easter and not just limited to the marshmallow treats. She has Peeps pillows, salt and pepper shakers, stuffed animals and much more.

Ms. Snable knows that Peeps aren’t just for Easter and not just limited to the marshmallow treats. She has Peeps pillows, salt and pepper shakers, stuffed animals and much more.

have been introduced in recent years, many only sold in limited edition batches.

“It’s amazing that they’re making so many different kinds now,” she said.

She doesn’t take them out of their packages even though they never go bad.

“Well they’re made almost entirely of sugar so they might get pretty hard, but not bad,” she said. “But I like to keep them in their packages and I can’t eat them now anyway, I’m too attached.”

But the Peeps themselves are only the tip of the iceberg for Ms. Snable and other Peeps enthusiasts. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Peeps products are available across the country.

Since 2009, there have been more than just edible Peeps coming from Peeps producer Just Born. A line of Peeps-flavored lip balms, Peep-themed jewelery, nail polish, umbrellas and even golf gloves are now commercially sold.

And Ms. Snable has most of those items and more — ranging from pencil erasers to stuffed animals to cookie cutters and a do-it-yourself Peep maker.

There’s even a picture book, “Peeps Ahoy!: A Candy-Coated Adventure on the High Seas,” that follows two Peeps on their adventures around the world.

“Come on,” Ms. Snable said. “Who could look at this and say it isn’t cute?”

For the past six years, Ms. Snable has taken a large portion of her collection to show at the Air Mobility Command Museum’s Collector’s Day, which was held on Saturday.

“Everyone’s always amazed by the wide variety,” she said. “And I really like that my collection can bring a smile to people’s faces when they come by my table.”

Ms. Snable has been a regular at the annual Air Mobility Command Museum Collector's Day for the past six years.

Ms. Snable has been a regular at the annual Air Mobility Command Museum Collector’s Day for the past six years.

Of the six years doing the show, Ms. Snable has taken home first place three times.

“I think it just has to do with how unique it is,” she said. “People collect coins and that kind of thing all the time but who collects Peeps and why? But I guess I’m a magnet to them now.”

And it’s not just the physical Peeps she loves, it’s also the history too. She knows all about the Russian immigrant-founded Just Born candy company based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Bob, have visited the factory and the one and only Peeps store, located on the Potomac River.

Although collecting Peeps may be a unique hobby, Ms. Snable is just one of hundreds of Peeps enthusiasts in America. And there’s plenty of ways for people to show their love of Peeps.

The Carroll County Arts Center in Westminster, Maryland, holds an annual PEEPshow featuring original works of art made from Peeps.

The Washington Post holds an annual national competition for Peeps dioramas that depict historical scenes, current events, pop culture or recreate famous works of art.

Although materials other than Peeps are allowed, all “Peeple” in the work must be made of the candy and any form of Peep goes from the original birds to bunnies to Minions.

Past finalists have included “The Assassination of Peepraham Lincoln,” “White House Trespeepers” and “I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. Addresses the Peeple.”

Ms. Snable has made some small Peep art mostly by gluing Peeps together or onto a background but hasn’t spent much time learning or trying anything more elaborate.

“I haven’t really gotten into the art much but it’s probably something I could work on in the future,” she said.

“And I’d really like to go see the things submitted to the contest in Washington sometime.”

But for now, she has settled for keeping newspaper clippings of the winners.

Another popular annual Peeps contest –– which Ms. Snable isn’t a big fan of –– is the Peep Off in Maryland, in which contestants are given 30 minutes to eat as many Peeps as possible.

The current record is 102.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment