Food

Sweet History: Philly Is Home To The Oldest U.S. Confectionery

Established in 1863 Shane Confectionery on Market Street in Philadelphia's Old City is America's oldest continuously run confectionery. It's owned by Eric and Ryan Berley, brothers who owned Franklin Fountain handmade ice creams. Considered an icon of Philadelphia it is situated in what was considered America's confectionery Mecca in the 18th and 19th centuries. Shane Confectionery is known for its bean-to-bar chocolate and candies handcrafted on-site with local and traceable ingredients ethically sourced around the world. A lot of creativity goes into making uniquely designed chocolate and candy confectionaries. Customers may also order confectioneries customized for the season or occasion they're commemorating.

Historical Timeline Of Shane Confectionary, the oldest in the U.S.

Shane Confectionery's origins can be traced to 1863. Samuel Herring was the first confectioner on 110 market street where it's presently located. In the 1850s he ran a confectionery supplies business there. In 1865 Herring's son, Benjamin took control of from his father and partnered with Daniel S. Dengler an experienced confectioner with strong business acumen that his father had employed. Their business sold confectionery items like figs, peanuts, dates, cocoa nuts, shelled almonds, and chocolate liquor.

In 1899, William T. Wescott who ran a little chocolate factory at Spring Garden Street purchased the confectionery business plus the building and run the business alone. In 1910 Wescott expanded his chocolate factory to Camden, Nj, and made a decision to sell the confectionery to Edward R Shane a young businessman. That's how Shane Confectionery took its name. After overtaking, Shane hired Reinle & Salmon glass company to make well-designed wooden cabinets, curved windows and stained glasses, and marble countertops that would display the confectioneries immaculately. The influence of those designs can be seen at the confectionery today.

In 1950 Edward Shane Jr bought the company from his father. Shane Jr who dressed sharply in a tie and jacket ran the business for 3 decades and ensured it was well-maintained. In the 1960s and 1970s, fewer people visited Shane Confectionery however it survived mostly due to holidays like Easter and Christmas. That's when customers flocked to buy candies made by crafting genius Mabel Brown. Barry Shane took over the confectionery from his father in 1983 and stayed in keeping with the tradition by insisting the candies would remain handcrafted not processed by machines. Edward Shane Jr trained his son Barry for 3 years on candy making. Barry run the company for over twenty-five years.

In 2006 before the Easter holiday, Harry Young owner of Young Candies and something of Philadelphia's iconic confectioners died. The Young family closed the candy shop which had operated since 1897. After closure, the Berley brothers bought the antique confectionery Clear Toy Candy molds. Ryan Berley started to explain Toy candies from the basement of the frozen treats company the Franklin Fountain. The Clear Toy candies became wildly popular and demand for orders could not be fulfilled after The Food Network filmed a segment on them.

In 2010 the Berley Brothers bought Shane Confectioneries from Barry but for the first time since 1910, the business wasn't any longer of the Shane family. The Berley Brothers kept the Shane name to preserve the rich and treasured heritage of this iconic Philadelphia company. The Berley brothers labored to restore Shane Confectionery to its glory and search of its prime years. Following the restorations, it was reopened this year to pomp and glamour. The Berley family kept the traditions started by the Shane group of creatively, crafting, quality products by hand.

In 2o12 Shane Confectionery won an award in the Preservation Alliance for his or her efforts in restoring the building to its 1911 appearance. That same year Shane Confectionery partnered with Philadelphia Bee Company to create bee items like honey from Langstroth hives strategically placed inside the city. A few were put on Shane Confectionery's rooftop. The honey gathered from the hives comes at a shop and also accustomed to make confectionaries.

In 2022 Shane Confectionery diversified from candies and chocolate to various chocolate beverages. The management opened Shane Chocolate Cafe on the first floor which serves cold and hot drinking chocolates and house-roasted frozen treats chocolates. Shane Signature Hot cocoa costing $8 may be the cafe's signature beverage but there are other beverages on the menu visitors can enjoy. The cafe is adorned with King of Prussia marble countertops and 1880 wooden counters salvaged from defunct and historical Philadelphia candy shops. A lot of effort was offer restore the historical salvages into a useable form.

In 2022, the 1940s themed Franklin Frozen treats Bar was opened. The bar serves made-to-order ice creams, frozen treats bars and sandwiches, sundaes, custard, shakes, cakes, pies, and toppings. Frozen treats flavors sold there include vanilla bean, chocolate, peanut butter, caramelized banana, coffee, vanilla, strawberry, coconut, mint chocolate chip, green tea, vegan, and sea salt caramel. Orders can be created by calling or online and delivery time is all about 30 minutes within Philadelphia. Franklin Ice Cream Bar is open from Monday to Sunday from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm.

Events at shane confectionary

Shane Confectionery hosts events, programs, and workshops weekly or monthly targeted at visitors which include:

  • Learning around its facilities such as the shop and kitchens that help visitors comprehend the confectionery poor Philadelphia's history.
  • Hands-on workshops for individuals of every age group hopefully all with a sweet tooth.
  • Chocolate tastings events for categories of up to six people or individuals wishing to find out about cacao, chocolate making, and its history. Traditional Craft Chocolate Tasting and Chocolate Taste and Paint Workshop are the two tasting events open to the general public at Shane Confectionery.

Visitors wanting to visit for the above-mentioned events can contact the management at [email protected]. The events calendar can also be posted on the website and it has the price of each event or activity. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, virtual tasting and tours can be organized for that public by contacting Laurel the Programs Manager at [email protected].

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