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Food & Drink

This Old City Shop Has Been Selling Candy Since The Victorian Era

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

This Old City Shop Has Been Selling Candy Since The Victorian Era

Shane Confectionery has been selling candy to sweet-toothed Philadelphians since 1863, making it the oldest candy store in the country.

Being one of the oldest cities in the country, there’s no shortage of historical gems to enjoy here in Philly. But none of them hit the sweet spot quite like Shane Confectionery. This Old City candy shop has been around since the late 1800s, satisfying the cravings of generations of Philadelphians with their delightful confections.

First established in 1863 by Samuel Herring, the 110 Market St store began its days as a wholesale retailer of confectioned goods such as shelled almonds and peanuts, figs, glucose, cocoanuts, chocolate liqueur and more. The store spent its first 50 years or so as a wholesale retail store until Edward Shane purchased it in 1910.

The Shane family not only gave their name to the now-famous store but also gave it a glamorous revamp adding elaborately carved wooden cabinets, curved glass showcases, marble countertops and stained glass windows, many of which can still be seen in the store today. Since then the store has become known for its artisanal, handcrafted sweets.

Nowadays, Shane Confectionery is also one of the few producers of clear toy candy. These elaborate sweets, which hark back to Victorian times, of colorful, boiled sugar syrup, clear toy candy is carefully made in cold kitchens to preserve its glassy look and were originally designed for kids to play with them before eating them. Children growing up in Victorian-era Philadelphia would’ve gotten these as Christmas gifts and now you can play with them too, thanks to the Berley brothers, who brought these historical treats back into the 21st century, shortly before purchasing Shane Confectionery in 2010.

At this historical candy store, there is no shortage of sweet treats and besides their popular clear toy candy, you’ll also find other incredible confections like house-made chocolate, fruit gummies, house-made cough drops and lollipops, caramel-covered popcorn, honey made by the bees living on the store’s rooftop hives and so much more.

Chocolate lovers will also find Shane’s Chocolate Café particularly appealing. The cafe offers seasonal hot and cold historical drinking chocolates as well as unique, house-roasted chocolate ice creams, so you can explore history and geography in just one delicious sip.

And in the warmer months, you can also check out Franklin’s Ice Cream Bar right next door in 112 Market St. This 1940s inspired dairy bar serves all kinds of frozen treats including scooped ice cream and fancy ice, custard, pre-packed pints and quarts, and, of course, custom created ice cream bars, dipped in Shane Confectionery’s house-roasted chocolate.

Shane Confectionery is currently open for curbside-pick up and delivery only Friday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. and you can place your online orders on their website. 

See also: Discover Fairmount Park’s Hidden Gems With This Wonderful Winter Scavenger Hunt

Practical information

[Featured image: Instagram / @shaneconfectionery]