Shoppers stock up on Easter favorites

April 22, 2011 7:47:15 PM PDT
For many people, Good Friday provides one last chance to stock up on food for the holiday weekend - what with hungry relatives coming over!

That's why, when planning begins for the Easter Sunday dinner, the line begins to form around the block outside Czerw's Smoke Meats in Port Richmond.

You can call John Czerw one of the owners, but...

"My mom is really the owner. We can't get her out of here," he said.

And John's mom makes sure this place keeps making kielbasy, and other smoked meats, the old-fashioned way.

"My grandfather built the ovens himself by hand, we still smoke them with wood. There are cheaper ways to do it, but we won't do it," said Czerw.

The pay-off is customers who come from all around the Delaware Valley for an authentic taste of the old country.

AnnMarie Godleski comes every Good Friday, all the way from Plymouth Meeting, filling orders from her neighbors.

"Everybody calls me, knows I'm ordering," she said. "It's a great tradition."

But when it comes to Easter chocolates, many will tell you there are few places quite like Aunt Charlotte's Candies in Merchantville, New Jersey.

"The people are always lovely when you come in, it's a magical place for children. My children were raised here," said Teresa Walter of Merchantsville.

The Oakford Family has been making homemade treats by hand since 1920, and that tradition is still going strong three generations later.

It's the kind of quality that keeps customers coming back every Easter. Family patriarch, Brooks Oakford, says he's astonished by his customer loyalty.

"People come 80 miles here for the holidays, people who used to live around here and buy $300 worth of candy. It's amazing," he said.

The people at Czerw's and Aunt Charlotte's say the secret to their success - quality and tradition never go out of style.