Established in 1863 Shane Confectionery on Market Street in Philadelphia's Old City is America's oldest continuously run confectionery. It is owned by Eric and Ryan Berley, brothers who owned Franklin Fountain handmade ice creams. Considered an icon of Philadelphia it is located in what was considered America's confectionery Mecca in the 18th and 19th centuries. Shane Confectionery is famous 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 can also order confectioneries customized for the season or occasion they are commemorating.

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

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

In 1899, William T. Wescott who ran a small 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, New Jersey, and chose to sell the confectionery to Edward R Shane a young businessman. That is how Shane Confectionery got its name. After taking over, 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 business from his father. Shane Jr who dressed sharply in a tie and jacket ran the business for 30 years and ensured it was well maintained. In the 1960s and 1970s, fewer people visited Shane Confectionery but 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 true to the tradition by insisting the candies would continue being handcrafted not processed by machines. Edward Shane Jr trained his son Barry for three years on candy making. Barry run the business for over twenty-five years.

In 2006 prior to the Easter holiday, Harry Young owner of Young Candies and one of Philadelphia's iconic confectioners died. The Young family closed the candy shop that had operated since 1897. After closure, the Berley brothers bought the antique confectionery Clear Toy Candy molds. Ryan Berley started to make Clear Toy candies from the basement of their ice cream 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 and for the first time since 1910, the business was no longer owned by 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 worked hard to restore Shane Confectionery back to its glory and appearance of its prime years. After the restorations, it was reopened in 2011 to pomp and glamour. The Berley family kept the traditions started by the Shane family of creatively, crafting, quality products by hand.

In 2o12 Shane Confectionery won an award from The Preservation Alliance for their efforts in restoring the building back to its 1911 appearance. That same year Shane Confectionery partnered with Philadelphia Bee Company to produce bee products like honey from Langstroth hives strategically placed within the city. A few were placed on Shane Confectionery's rooftop. The honey gathered from the hives is sold at the shop and also used to make confectionaries.

In 2014 Shane Confectionery diversified from candies and chocolate to different chocolate beverages. The management opened Shane Chocolate Cafe on the first floor which serves hot and cold drinking chocolates and house-roasted ice cream chocolates. Shane Signature Hot Chocolate costing $8 is 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 put to restore the historical salvages into a useable form.

In 2018, the 1940s themed Franklin Ice Cream Bar was opened. The bar serves made-to-order ice creams, ice cream bars and sandwiches, sundaes, custard, shakes, cakes, pies, and toppings. Ice cream 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 made by calling or on the website and delivery time is 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 that include:

  • Learning tours of its facilities like the shop and kitchens that help visitors understand the confectionery in the context of Philadelphia's history.
  • Hands-on workshops for people of all ages hopefully all with a sweet tooth.
  • Chocolate tastings events for groups of up to six people or individuals wishing to learn 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 public at Shane Confectionery.

Visitors wishing to visit for the above-mentioned events can contact the management at tours@shanecandies.com. The events calendar is also posted on the website and has the cost of each event or activity. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, virtual tasting and tours can be organized for the public by contacting Laurel the Programs Manager at Laurel@FranklinFountain.com.

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