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Q. Can you find out if Brach's is no longer making Chocolate Stars, and if so, why? I haven't been able to find them in a couple of years. — Dave, DeWitt, Iowa

A. According to information on the Brach's website,, the company does still manufacture Milk Chocolate Stars. The website also contains a product finder:

According to the product finder, Milk Chocolate Stars are available at Quad-City area Hy-Vee stores and Fareway stores. You may want to contact a store in your area to confirm. Halloween is just around the corner. So, it is possible these stores will be stocking up.

Brach's was founded in 1904 by Emil J. Brach. According to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune, Brach founded the company with $1,000 of capital. Brach died Wednesday, Oct. 29, 1947, of an apparent heart attack. He was a native of Schoenwald, Germany, the obituary said. He attended school in Burlington, Iowa. To read more about Emil J. Brach. visit

In 2007, Brach's Confections was sold to Farley's & Sathers Candy Co. In 2012, it merged with the Ferrara Candy Co.

If you have further questions about Milk Chocolate Stars or other Brach's/Ferrara Candy Co. products, You can contact their corporate headquarters at:

Ferrara Candy Co., Oakbrook Terrace Tower, 1 Tower LN #2700, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181, 1-800-323-1768,

If you are in the Forest Park, Illinois, area, Ferrara Candy Co. also has an outlet store: Outlet Store, 7301 W. Harrison St., Forest Park, IL 60130. Store hours are 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and closed Sundays.

Q. In Eldridge, Iowa, there used to be a business called Can City. You could return empty aluminum pop cans in bulk. I would rinse the cans out and throw them into a lined garbage can. Can City would give you a nickel for each can. I do not like to take two or three cartons back to the grocery store. It is much easier to return a whole sack of cans at once. Can City is no longer in Eldridge, and I don't know of another place that will let you return the cans in bulk form and give you back your 5-cent refund for each can. Do you or any of your readers know of a business that will let you return two or three bags (500 or more cans) at a time and get your 5-cent refund per can? — Kate

A. According to a list on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website,, there are two other redemption centers in Scott County. However, after calling both, we discovered that only one accepts cans in the bulk amounts you described:

Eastern Iowa Recyclers Inc., 2844 W. 72nd St., Davenport. For more information, including hours, call 563-391-8613.

To view the list from the Department of Natural Resources, visit

Ask the Times appears on Thursdays and Saturdays. You can call 563-333-2632, email or write Ask the Times, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801.