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Martha Seif Simpson still remembers the kaleidoscope of penny candy at Dotty’s Variety. The pink bubble gum, the wisps of red licorice, those ubiquitous Necco Wafers — rows and rows of sweets awaiting a fistful of coins.
Her parents, Sam and Dorothy Seif, owned the neighborhood grocery on Allen Street in New Bedford, Mass., for nearly 20 years. As a young Jewish girl, Simpson grew up selling candy, eggs, milk, pretty much anything local kids ran to the store to fetch.