Since opening The Franklin Fountain in 2004, brothers Ryan and Eric Berley have established themselves as Philadelphia’s go-to duo for all things sweet and historic. Their latest venture, Shane Confectionery, builds upon 148 years of history at a beautifully restored shop in Philly’s Old City. This Christmas, Shane is sharing the tradition of clear toy candy with us in a playful collection that includes sailing ships, cycling frogs, and a menagerie of colorful creatures available in our stores and online. We stopped in to see a batch in the making and learn about these unusual treats from Ryan Berley and head confectioner Davina Soondrum.
Brought to America by German settlers, clear toy candies have been made in Pennsylvania since the colonial era. Shane’s ever-expanding collection of steel candy molds dates to the turn of the 20th century and includes around 350 shapes. Each candy starts on an antique stove, where sugar syrup is boiled then poured into a mold. Once the syrup hardens, confectioners gently open the molds and chisel away excess sugar to perfect each sparkling sweet.
With so many charming colors and shapes at hand, we’re having a hard time choosing a favorite from the terrain collection. How about you?