Sweet treats for the holidays

OLD CITY - December 22, 2011

Most Philadelphians know Shane's Candies in Old City. The new owners have returned it to its turn-of-the-century glory.

They are also the owners of the Franklin Fountain in Old City and have put their vintage mark on Shane's Candies, right down the block.

The brothers, Eric in his bowler hat, Ryan, always in a bow tie, have drawn from their roots, to bring nostalgia back to Philadelphia.

Owner Eric Berley says, "We grew up in a victorian house in Media."

They purchased the store from Barry Shane in May and stock it with original creamy mint sticks, Springerlees, and the hand-carved Pa. Dutch holiday cookies and giant jawbreakers.

"In Paleotentic era's., it was the Brack-Asauras that used them as cough drops," added Eric.

When asked what his favorite candy was, Barry Sticher from Kensington said, "...I like the fruit slices, but if I come home with just those, my wife gets angry."

Most of the candy is made on the second floor. The butter cream machine still makes the butter creams as it did in the 1920's.

Owner Ryan Berley added, "The old recipe came down to us from Mr. Shane, written on the back of an envelope."

On the third floor, it's all the chocolate - dipping, coating everything, from marshmallows to Lancaster County, farm-raised, bacon.

Shane candy maker, Sara Mays says, "You render all the fat out of the bacon, so it holds a nice solid shape when its dipped in chocolate....you want it nice and crispy."

The bean-to-bar, chocolate bars also give a nod to more contemporary chocolate tradition.

" It's also about creating jobs in Philadelphia and using human hands to make things again," said Ryan.

"It's old-timey and its charming. The ambiance is awesome...I would come in here just to look around at everything," said Mariel Freeman of Philadelphia.

The owners say they hope to introduce their customers to more unique candies. They're making trips as far away as Italy to find that extra special confection for your sweet tooth.

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