Candy AND history??!! Can’t beat that combo.
This area along Market Street, close to the docks, has long been an area of sugar refineries and cocoa importers. By the 18th century, chocolate makers began opening in the area. Today, Shane’s is the oldest continuously operating candy store in the US and totally looks the part. The owners have put a lot of effort into building on the history of the shop, both in the visuals (restoring the interior to its Edwardian-era heyday and sourcing era appropriate antiques to fill in for long gone items, like the gorgeous 1910’s cash register) and in the production:
They have brought the business into the modern age, with a line of ethically produced bean to bar chocolates produced in house. One of the best things about Shane’s is their commitment to sourcing local, such as the honey and herbs from their rooftop apiary and herb garden, or the hazelnuts for their gianduja spread – which uses hazelnuts from a program at NJ’s Rutgers University that is developing a blight-resistant hazelnut tree that can thrive locally. Move over Nutella!
They also have a terrific collection of vintage cards:
You can also visit their fun Chocolate Cafe for hot chocolate made the old fashioned way (try the one made using Thomas Jefferson’s recipe or the yummy (spicy) Mexican version) and cocoa bean tea (and delicious house-made marshmallows). It’s hidden in the back of the store. Double check opening times, since they are only open a few hours/day. Note: there is no seating inside, so you will have to take it to go.
Tobey says: I love Franklin Fountain, but they did the Shane’s tour without me 😦
Kathy says: Because I’m such a thoughtful mom, I signed Tobey and I up for a gingerbread making class (in addition to the tours, they also offer occasional hands-on classes). 2 hours of using antique gingerbread boards (including a copy of the colonial Philadelphia board housed in the Museum of the American Revolution – the cookie with the lady in the skirt) to make very yummy cookies. We also got to see the HUGE antique Dutch wedding/fertility boards.https://shanecandies.com/