Colorful-Characters By: Jen Wainwright

Discover something you might not know…about a local place or face you might just love!

Colorful Character: Tummy Ache Candy Store

Location: 1116 N. Johnson St., Bay City, 989.891.7669,

Magical and fantastical meet with tasty and nostalgia inside the colorful Tummy Ache Candy Store, located in the Historic Johnson Business District of Bay City. Owner Starr Henning and her husband have offered an array of sweet treats since 2000, from hard candies to ice cream, snow cones to their specialty – nostalgic candy. Tummy Ache is the place to find Wax Lips, Mallow Cups, Licorice Bites, Teaberry Gum, Licorice Pipes, and so much more!

Tasty Tidbits – Did You Know…?

* Sugar Fairy Forest Birthday Room

Located at the back of the store, the “Sugar Fairy Forest” room can be rented by groups for birthdays, baby showers, Girl Scout gatherings and beyond. A birthday party at Tummy Ache includes: Handmade invitations and party hats; balloons, snow cones, and surprise bags; and – get this – a magic flying carpet table, with a five-foot, three-tiered cake in the middle, drops from the sky to The Birthday Song! Party-goers visit pretend storefronts throughout the store, stopping by the mock Bakery to get cake, mock Candy Story for goodies, etc. One could certainly call this a sweet gathering place!

* Meet Starshine

Celebrating “her” 20th summer in Bay City, “Starshine” – the name lovingly given by owner Starr – is the renowned pink ice cream truck that has travelled throughout Bay City in the summer months for the past 20 years, when it’s not being rented out for graduation parties and birthday celebrations.

* Edible Art

Tummy Ache’s handmade, edible dolls, toys, flowers and roses may be the most unique candy you’ve ever eaten. For example, the edible dolls – made from orange wheels, Mike & Ikes, licorice, and more – come completely outfitted, with shoes and even mittens!Edible flowers range from hard candy, rainbow-colored specimens to white chocolate beauties, drizzled with décor.


“It’s the joyous sounds and gleeful faces. Both children and adults come to life in this store,” Henning says. “Candy reminds them of stories…and they reminisce about their parents and grandparents…‘My grandfather always carried Licorice Bites with him’. It’s really a special place, and for me it’s everything I’ve always wanted to offer and give people.”

Great Lakes Bay Moms Loves Tummy Ache Candy Store!


Jen is a freelance writer, parent to three, and she’s been a stepparent for over 15 years. She is well-equipped to discuss and write about the great, and the not-so-great, details of all-things-parenting. Along with spending quality time with her family, Jen enjoys music, chocolate, camping and relaxing. And laughing!