Shane Confectionery Open! Historic Philadelphia Candy Tradition Lives On Philadelphia, PA
Posted on: December 8, 2011
- Phone: 215-922-1048
- Website: http://shanecandies.com/
Hooray! It’s open! Shane Confectionery in Philadelphia – the country’s oldest continually operated candy manufacturer – and just in time for the holidays! Doesn’t it look just grand all dolled up for the season? Ever since I read that the swell Brothers Berley were in line to take over the reins at Shane’s, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the rebirth of this historic Philadelphia candy making enterprise. As the owners of the Franklin Fountain just a few storefronts down, I knew they’d do a good job, with their attention to detail and passion for the past. And I was right! Thanks to their Facebook page, I was alerted that the store was having a soft opening on the very night that Retro Roadhusband were headed into the big city for a night of live music. So I insisted that we swing by the Market Street candy shop that has been the site of candy-making for well over 100 years. If you’re curious as to why the name remains the same:
“After ninety-nine years of 110 Market Street operating under the Shane family, Barry Shane bequeathed ownership of the business to the Berley Brothers, who decided to keep the Shane name in order to commemorate the great candymaking family, and to preserve a rich and well-earned heritage of Philadelphia tradition”
As we entered the shoppe it was like something from out of the past- clean and bright as new, but with an historic air. They’ve done a great job uncovering the hidden beauty of the shop, revealing the wooden floors that had been hiding under linoleum, paiting the detail of the antique carved display cases with period colors, and making sure the marble counters and tin ceiling are gleaming. We were lucky enough to meet both Ryan and Eric Berley, and had a nice chat with Eric during our whirlwind tour. He was an absolute font of knowledge when it came to the history of not only the candy business, but the candies themselves. We learned about the historically accurate display containers and (squee!) their knowledge of all sorts of historic soda fountains and candy stores that still dot this land (I’ll totally be pestering the brothers for some Retro Roadmap recommendations, you bet!) It was also a delight to learn that this is truly a family owned and operated business, as we were introduced to Eric’s wife, the brothers’ mom, and I do believe that must’ve been dad behind the scenes as well. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CANDY! says the sweet-tooth in me. Never fear, the shop is stocked with sugary delights from floor to ceiling, front to back. One side is all hard candies, while the other features chocolate- and you can deliciously decide between the two. There are sweets please any palate – from the vanilla buttercreams that Shane’s is famous for, to the more modern chocolate covered bacon (which RRH insisted we get- good call, dear!) Part of the joy of this shop re-opening is also knowing that it will be upholding long-standing candy making traditions. From using fresh cream from Lancaster dairies to ensure the buttercreams live up to their reputation, to creating clear toy candy using detailed antique molds, everything is done the way it should be done. If I had my druthers (and my better camera) I would’ve been happy to spend hours in this shop, learning about all of the details that were taken into account when re-opening this local landmark. But knowing that it’s in such good hands, I’m safe in declaring the shop will be open for a long, long time.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at the store before it opened, and click here to the Shane Confectionery Facebook page to see photos of THE MAYOR of Philadelphia at the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony!
Watch Berley Brothers: The Early Years on PBS.