Located 15 miles south of San Francisco, the sleepy town of Burlingame has a little-known secret kept by local Gary Doss.
Doss is many things, but first and foremost, he is a California collector and authority of all things PEZ. He has spent the past 16 years as the proud owner and curator of the Museum of PEZ Memorabilia. His collection includes every PEZ candy dispenser ever made, all displayed in his eclectic one-room museum, located in the center of downtown Burlingame.
Each dispenser is special and has a story that Doss is delighted to tell. He remembers a man who visited his museum and told him he had found a Frankenstein PEZ dispenser in a 1963 Cadillac he had recently bought for $300.
"And I told him, do you know that PEZ dispenser's worth about $300!" Doss chuckles. "It paid for your car!"
A beaming six-year-old Audrey skips into the museum with her babysitter Colleen.
Audrey has just graduated kindergarten and has come here to celebrate. Like Doss, Audrey is a PEZ collector and loves to talk about her budding collection.
"I have Hello Kitty, and then I have Hello Kitty with her friend, but I don't know her name," she says.
Doss says he enjoys these kinds of visitors the most. Through them, he says, he is reminded how PEZ brings together generations, filling the museum with a sense of nostalgia.
"There's this common thread that goes through the family of living, and enjoying PEZ dispensers," Doss says. "That's always fun to see."
Doss spends Tuesday through Saturday welcoming visitors to his museum. For a small admission fee, each visitor receives a personalized tour led by Doss, who is overflowing with trivia about the candy and its quirky history.
Doss is always adding new dispensers to this collection. The latest: Strawberry Shortcake.
It's through his growing collection and enthusiasm that Gary Doss reminds visitors of the importance of all things silly -- and sweet.