The List: Candy Land

Photo by Claudia Gavin; Styling by Julie Lazarus

Photo by Claudia Gavin; Styling by Julie Lazarus

There was a time when Philadelphia was the king of confectionery cities. And while we may have fallen slightly from those halcyon days, this is still a town with a pretty substantial sweet streak. Here are the best shops for those looking for something other than the traditional chocolates of the season.

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That Kennett Square ‘Needles in Candy’ Story Wasn’t Real


Authorities in Chester County announced today that reports of needles found in Halloween candy in the borough were “unfounded.”

In a statement, Chester County Detectives said both children who made the reports have recanted their stories after an “intensive investigation.” On Facebook, the Kennett Square Police Department department originally said the pair would face charges in juvenile court of filing a false police report; a later release from authorities said the pair had been released to their respective parents and no formal charges would filed. Read more »

Candy Factory Owner: Mayor Nutter Ruins Easter for Philadelphia’s Children

The City of Philadelphia shut down Blasius Chocolate Factory on Wednesday over a tax dispute. The 88-year-old candy company’s owner, Philip Kerwick, says he has a $12,000 delinquent tax bill.

Blasius is a popular place to buy Easter candy. “These last four days make or break me,” Kerwick told Action News. “I don’t think I will be able to survive this year.” Last year, Kerwick said Easter candy made up half of his sales. The shop is only open from late November to Mother’s Day.

Kerwick is disputing the tax bill, and says city officials didn’t appear at a hearing to negotiate a payment. He’s (quite understandably) angry. And he ranted on the Chris Stigall show on 1210 this morning.

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The Gingerbread Mansions of Fairmount Park


From now till November 22nd, thirteen gingerbread houses representing mansions of Fairmount Park will be on display at the Shops at Liberty Place. All thirteen were created by local pastry chefs who really got into the spirit of it all, accessorizing their houses with pretzel fences, gumdrop trim and peppermint stick columns.

The gingerbread house display is a preview event for the annual Historic Houses of Fairmount Park Holiday Tour that runs from December 5 to the 15th. Six park houses will be open and decorated for the holidays. Trolley tours are available and tickets can be purchased online.

Check out the gingerbread mansions » 

Philly and the Chocolate Factory

In an era when big-box megastores are calling the candy shots, Philly’s renegade chocolatiers are intent on doing it their way. Sweet.

When the Berley brothers opened the door of Shane Confectionery to the public on December 5th, they were opening the door to the past.

What you notice first about Eric and Ryan Berley is their facial hair, which is defiantly out of fashion. The whiskers are an anachronism, and the Berleys are, too. Their new candy shop at the foot of Market Street, in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge, is really an old candy shop—the oldest in the city, selling sweets since 1863. After they bought it in 2010, they meticulously restored it to ornate pre-World War I splendor, from the curved display windows to the turn-of-the-century chandeliers.

Philly and the Chocolate Factory: The Berley Brothers and Shane’s Confectionery [Philadelphia magazine]