The Great American Candy Shop

Our search for the country's best candy store led us to 50 sweet spots — and an unforgettable winner in Philadelphia.

Photo By: TREVOR DIXON PHOTOGRAPHY ©2015

Photo By: TREVOR DIXON PHOTOGRAPHY ©2015

Photo By: TREVOR DIXON PHOTOGRAPHY ©2015

Photo By: TREVOR DIXON PHOTOGRAPHY ©2015

Photo By: TREVOR DIXON PHOTOGRAPHY ©2015

Pennsylvania Shane Confectionery, Philadelphia

Walking into Shane Confectionery is like stepping back in time — more than 150 years. When brothers Eric and Ryan Berley bought the Old City candy shop from the Shane family in 2010, they closed it immediately for 18 months to restore it to its 19th-century glory. The two history buffs tracked down display jars from the 1800s and early 1900s, retrofitted antique sugar boxes to hide computerized registers and curated an old-fashioned candy collection. "We wanted the whole experience to be like it was when this opened in 1863," Eric says. All the staffers look the part: When you enter, you're greeted by smiling shopkeepers wearing hats and bow ties or floor-length dresses and hairnets, and when you make your way upstairs, you find a workshop where candy makers crank out treats by hand, including crystal candy figurines (called clear-toy candy), fudge and the brothers' signature Whirly Berley Bars. 

 

Photographs by Trevor Dixon

Original Display

"We tried to stay true to the way the Shane family displayed everything," Eric says. The brothers kept the Shanes' cabinets and added glass fronts.

Seasonal Fudge

Fudge is a best-seller, especially the Boardwalk variety (a nod to the Jersey Shore). In the fall the Berleys break out the crowd-pleaser: pumpkin fudge topped with pecans and a swirl of caramel. 

Vintage Glass

The Berleys' mother is an antiques dealer, and she helped track down some of the 100 old glass containers to round out the collection left by the Shane family. 

Old Registers

The early-1900s cash registers, one of which was in Eric and Ryan's childhood home, are mostly for show: "They hold bills, but we keep the computerized registers hidden," Eric says.

Handmade Chocolate

Upstairs, chocolatiers make the signature Whirly Berley Bar. 

The Whirly Berley Bar

The signature candy is made of layers of salted chocolate caramel and honey nougat (made with honey from rooftop hives), dunked in dark chocolate and sprinkled with cocoa nibs.

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