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John Lerro Candy – 100 Year Family Tradition in Philadelphia 4th Generation Family Business-!

Posted on: December 19, 2017



Though anyone can grab a generic box of candy at a drugstore, nothing says “I Care” like getting a sweet treat for a special occasion (or any occasion at all) at a 4th-generation candy store like Lerro’s Candy on South Broad Street in Philadelphia.

John Lerro Candies Philadelphia PA 2017 Retro Roadmap

The diminutive shop opened over 100 years ago as a candy and ice cream shop, with everything made on-site by John (Giovanni) Lerro and his wife Anna. They lived upstairs with their sons Frank and Pasquale. Pasquale met his wife Carmella when she worked in the shop as a counter girl and after they got married they lived above the shop as well, along with their children. As you can imagine it got pretty cozy, so it was decided in the early 1950s to move the candy making portion of the business to nearby Darby where it remains to this day. (They discontinued ice cream and focus solely on candies in the early 1960s.) Great-grandson John Pasquale is the 4th generation in the candy business.

While Pasquale is no longer with us his photo is everywhere, and if you’re lucky you can still find Carmella or their daughters Pat and Anna behind the counter, filling boxes of candies and chatting with customers.

John Lerro Candies Philadelphia PA 2017 Retro Roadmap

Their “own make” (such an old fashioned term!) chocolate covered pretzels are one of their most popular offerings – for good reason. I bought a box to be a gift, but could not resist opening it up myself, and the next thing you know they are gone! The sweet chocolate combined with the light crunchy pretzel and occasional salty nugget is a winning combination.

John Lerro Candies Philadelphia PA 2017 Retro Roadmap

They’re also known for their chocolate covered Easter eggs, and they’re one of the only places left that will write your name on your egg in icing. Though the gigantic egg in the display case is not for sale, it gives you an idea of the custom work they can do for you, if you’re looking for something special.

John Lerro Candies Philadelphia PA 2017 Retro Roadmap

An assortment of baskets and jars for sale are displayed throughout the shop, ready to be filled with candies to make a unique gift, if you would prefer something other than a standard candy box. And the photos of children and couples lining the walls and cases remind you that this isn’t just a shop, this place is part of the family.

As a Retro Roadmapper don’t forget to look for the authentic vintage Dentyne water decal in the window as you’re exiting the shop. This place is the real deal!

John Lerro Candies Philadelphia PA 2017 Retro Roadmap

 

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