Philadelphia has so many firsts that there seems to be one on every block. Shane Confectionery has the distinction of being the oldest continuously run candy maker in America. It was by chance that we ended up finding this unique shop.
A Sweet Old Store
As we strolled down Market Street, on our way to the Delaware River, we happened upon the curved glass windows. This is not a normal shape for windows, so it grabs your attention. A sign hangs above the sidewalk touting the existence of Shane Confectionery since 1911. We would discover that the business actually started in 1863, and was ran by Samuel Herring. He was already running a confectionery supply store next door. The family name was well known in the candy business, so the new venture was quite successful.
None of this was known to us as we stood on the thresh-hold of the shop. The promise of hand-made chocolates, as well as the interesting window-fronts, is what beckoned us to enter. Inside we found aging wooden floors, antique cabinetry, and walls lined with glass front displays. The candy selection was unbelievable. Bags upon bags of various treats can be found lining the counters. Even more are seen along the walls. Large mirrors reflect the colorful sweets making the variety appear even larger. Behind the counter, a staff member assists customers with their purchases.
Shane Confectionery Stays Old School
We wandered the shop, as we waited our turn to purchase. In a back room we found a candy making area, but no one was tending it at that time. The cabinets behind the work areas were filled with unique ingredients, which are sourced locally when possible. Our turn arrived, and we discussed our options with the clerk . She told us that many of the candies are not made in-house. She pointed out that the chocolates and caramels are still made in the shop. That was enough to point us toward our purchase of some caramels. The choice was perfect, and we strolled down the street enjoying our sweet treats.