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The Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia Ice Cream Parlor with Turn of The Century Charm

Posted on: December 17, 2009

2017 Update: Clear Toy Candy is now at Shane Confectionery, but The Franklin Fountain is still rockin the ice cream counter!

Franklin Fountain - Ice Cream - Philadelphia - Retro Roadmap 2017

Mod Betty is pleased to report that The Franklin Fountain has continued to blossom since the last time I wrote about it, and remains a frozen dessert destination for visitors to Philly. Heck, we brought my niece to the city to see THE POPE last year and all she talked about to her mom was the ice cream from here -!

Franklin Fountain Philadelphia - Retro Roadmap 2017

Many of the items they used to sell here (like the clear toy candies mentioned below) are now available at Shane Confectioners just a storefront or two away.

Franklin Fountain Philadelphia - Retro Roadmap 2017

The Fountain still holds fast to its newfangled old-fashioned charm, and we can’t wait to share the news when their latest incarnation, the Ice Cream Bar opens some time in 2018! Franklin Fountain Philadelphia - Retro Roadmap 2017

In the meantime, here are some photos to entice you into eating some ice cream regardless of the season.

Franklin Fountain Philadelphia - Retro Roadmap 2017

Original 2009 Post:

I could not let one more holiday moment go by without sharing with you the clear toy candy that the Franklin Fountain folks hand make every Christmas season from authentic molds.

Franklin Fountain is  a “new but looks old” place that is totally charming in its turn of the century soda fountain ways, and will get it’s own proper write up once ice cream season resumes, but for now, I’m simply raving about their clear candy.

Franklin Fountain Toy Candy

Clear Toy Candy is a Pennsylvania-German tradition that dates to the 18th century when children were gifted them during the holiday season. These candies are handmade in historic Old City, Philadelphia using antique Victorian hard candy molds. Molds were made in Philadelphia at the turn-of-the-century and were in continuous use by Young’s Candies on Girard Avenue since 1897. When Young’s closed in 2006, the Berley Brothers purchased their collection of over 250 molds and are continuing the Philadelphia tradition of clear toy candymaking from their Old City soda fountain.

While these charming folks behind the counter aren’t the ones who waited on me when Retro Roadhusband and I popped in here before a show, I will say that I was beyond impressed with the help I received when trying to pick out 3 candies that were different but also exactly the same, so that the Retro Roadkids would not bicker about who got the better gift. Our pleasant clerk headed “upstairs” to see what they had in additional stock and came back with a selection that was just spot on perfect!

franklin-fountain-counter-crew-constanc-h-retro-roadmap(Thanks to intrepid reporter Constance H for the daytime photos)

And if this hasn’t totally convinced you of the charms and delights of Clear Toy Candy – here’s a video look at the behind the scenes making of these holiday treats!

Edited to add: Who knew that I was on the cutting edge of coolness with my post about Clear Toy Candy at Franklin Fountain! Here’s a link to their December 2009 blog where they let spill that not one but two Food Network shows will feature the Fountain!  Marc Summers stopped by to host the acclaimed “Unwrapped” show and “American Classics”  will document their Clear Toy Candy making process. There are more interesting tid-bits in their Scoop, so click the link and have a look!