Monday, April 4, 2011

April '11 SCOOP

Springtime’s sweet swell saturates and suffuses successions of sprouting seedlings, shoots and shrubs. Above you and about you and even inside you an awesome allness awaits awareness. We wish wellness with whoops and whispers, we welcome with warmth.

Our Dearest Fountaineers,

What a thrill it is to see new life revive our surroundings! Fresh breath and light restore beings burrowed in slumber, and we wake along with them to present you with a wide assortment of new sweets! Banana Ice Cream has returned to our menu, and those who have acquainted themselves with its creamy luxuriousness have long been anticipating its re-introduction. The flavor is immersed with puréed bananas and incorporates our farm fresh dairy, its taste is exquisite. Another ice cream flavor that will be making its debut is “Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl”, a hardy flavor comprised of midnight cocoa powder and a homemade peanut butter sauce whirled throughout the ice cream in hardened sweeps of granulated peanuts. For those who favor the salty and the dark, this flavor may speak more adequately to your tastes. Another flavor to be launched will be our “Honeycomb Ice Cream”, its base is steeped with a honey essence which drones with a hiveful of flavor and sweetness. Throughout the ice cream, homemade honeycomb candy is crunchily studded. We will be featuring this flavor in our “Land of Milk and Honey” Ice Cream Soda, a delicious drink made with Levi’s Vanilla Cream Soda, fresh milk from Longacre’s dairy farm. This blissful beverage will anoint your tastebuds with richness and pleasure.

Eastertime is also right around the corner, so close that we can practically hear the padded paws of our vested rabbit friend thumping the city’s cobblestone. We will be decorating our store in pastels, and the Shane Confectionery display window will house a ceramic menagerie of associated hares carrying their chocolate-filled Easter baskets. Additionally, we will be making Shane’s world famous buttercream candies, this season in four exciting varieties! These include dark chocolate covered coconut cream, milk chocolate covered peanut butter cream, dark chocolate chocolate-vanilla buttercreams, and milk chocolate chocolate butter cream. The buttercream fondant is cooked on machinery dating back to the 1920s, and is composed of sugar cooked slowly while churned in water, vanilla extract, rich butter, some maize treacle, chocolate liquor, and vanilla extract. For three generations, Shane customers have lined the block to purchase these treats. We encourage you to purchase these wonders to keep with a sweet Philadelphia tradition.

It is impossible to transition from reportage of glad tidings to reportage of deep and personal loss without calling attention to the tonal shift. While our business persists on maintaining the mindset of living in the past, there are certain events that take place in our present times which we cannot ignore. The earthquake, tsunami, and ensuing chaos that have devastated Japan and its isles call for immediate and substantial action and relief. It is difficult to comprehend the full scale of the catastrophe, but, regardless, we feel obliged to assist those suffering in whatever way that we are able to. We have decided to donate 100% of the proceeds of our “Japanese Thirst-Ade” to the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia's Disaster Relief Fund. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in need, to the afflicted and the rescue workers and caretakers. While the damage is expected by any measure to be longstanding and difficult, we hope and pray for the speediest possibly recovery.

We speak soberly now and with heavy hearts to report the unfortunate passing of Dan Nitz, a former employee of ours, who had worked as a soda jerk during the very first summer of our operation in 2005. Born on January the 25th of 1987, Dan was an artistic individual whose life was steeped in poetry, he held a unique outlook on life, and is said by former staff to have always had a “light in his eyes”. In 2005 Dan was diagnosed with acute Leukemia, and throughout five trying years he fought to bring beauty into the world with his artwork and deeds. To the misfortune of all, the disease progressed and took his life this past February. He is now in the company of eternal light. We ask that you please donate to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You can learn more about Dan at

It is with regret that we close our monthly correspondence with such sadness, but we ask that you please honor the memory of those who left us too soon with deeds of loving kindness and affection. May we all be reminded of life’s fragility, but also, its continuation. The revival of life in this Spring season seems emptier with these losses. But by affirming the singularities of life within ourselves through kind and brave action, we affirm also the continuum of life and its preciousness.
That Life and Love may always last,
The Franklin Fountain.

Friday, March 4, 2011

March '11 SCOOP

Wrapping winds whirl Winter’s weight while we weary witnesses watch and wait for widespread white weather to withhold its wrath. Fortunately for Franklin Fountaineers, fair and favorable flushes of fortune found from fully fragrant flowered fields and forests fills and frills our Fountain’s frame, force, and faces, forthwith and forevermore.

St. Patrick’s day is coming up soon, and we are caught fully by the Celtic spirit! We will be decorating the store with charm and greenery, and we shall serve a variety of Irish-American sweets. “Irish Potatoes”, a historic Philadelphia confection, will be served once more at The Franklin Fountain. These treats have been made by the Shane family for generations, and we will be citing their early twentieth century recipe in concocting the treats in the old Shane candy kitchen. They are made by hand-shaping balls of shredded coconut fondant flavored with vanilla extract rolling them about in a coat of ground cinnamon and diced pignola nuts. They are as delicious as they are traditional, and we request that you purchase a box and give them a try.

We will also be featuring the “Irish Rose Ice Cream Soda”, a sweet and fragrant beverage named after the song “My Wild Irish Rose” written by stage actor Chancellor Olcott in 1899 for his production of “A Romance of Athlone” on Broadway. The drink is made with Schoenhofen Brewery’s “Green River” soda, a scoop of our creamy coconut ice cream, and a sprout of homemade whipped cream garnishing the garden of tastes. The drink is sumptuous and sugary, and quite enticing.

This year, we will be celebrating our five year anniversary of making our own homemade ice cream. We have been awarded multiple times by Philadelphia Magazine, featured on internationally broadcast television programs, and, most importantly, earned the respect of peers, friends, and returning clientele all because of the integrity and outstanding taste of our ice cream. We are quite proud for having stuck it out this long, and will continue to thrive for years to come with the help of your support and patronage.

On the evening of Tuesday, March the 2nd, the Berley Brothers participated in a panel and lecture on the history of confectioners in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent. Tony Walter, owner of Lore’s Chocolates, sat on the panel alongside the Berleys. The event was moderated by Christie Speer, an editor of The Philadelphia Magazine. Ryan and Eric Berley displayed a power point presentation on the intricate topic, highlighting Philadelphia confectioners such as Eliza Leslie, The Parkinson Family, H. O. Wilbur, and even Milton Hershey. They also documented and lectured on industrialization’s role in how candies were produced, packaged, and distributed, and why Philadelphia specifically was so crucial to the confectionery world. Veteran confectioner and food historian Jack Lees of Casani Candy also contributed a vast wealth of historical information to a transfixed audience.

The event was well received and well attended, and the Berleys got to show sneak-peek glimpses of the Shane Confectionery restoration, citing the tireless efforts of our workforce, including our site laborers: Creative Director Emily Malina, Pastry Chef Davina Soondrum, and Historian Jeffrey Heinbach. Afterwards, homemade Shane truffles and Irish Potatoes were served to those attended, as were Wilbur Buds donated by Wilbur’s Chocolates, and a delicious assortment of chocolates donated by Lore’s chocolates. A sweet way to end an evening!

We have three new ice cream flavors to debut this month. We couldn’t have made two of these flavors without the assistance and support of the wonderful Girl Scouts of America, founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912. We are using some of their annually sold cookies in our “Thin Mint Chip Ice Cream” (featuring crushed Thin Mint Cookies in white peppermint ice cream, a green creme de menthe swirl, and dark bittersweet Wilbur’s chocolate strewn throughout) and “Shortbread Ice Cream” (Madagascar and Mexican vanilla based flecked with crushed vanilla beans, and the 1922 original recipe for girl scout shortbread cookies.) We hope that when you taste these flavors, you also ingest the values of honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence, and citizenship.

Stay tuned to forthcoming news announcements regarding our Easter Season Confectionery Line. We hope to serve homemade buttercream Easter Eggs, a variety of seasonal chocolates, and other goods to warm your heart and soul.

May new life revive you. May rainbows become present in your sky, and may you present your own rainbows to horizons to come.

The Franklin Fountain.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

February '11 SCOOP

Fellow Fountaineers, we’ve some news to drop that will swell your heart, wet your eyes, and lift your spirits -- Eric Berley, co-proprietor of The Franklin Fountain, has just gotten married! The blushing bride, Kiersten (who was gowned in a windy snowfall of lacy fabric) has worked at the Fountain for a few years now.

She and Eric fell into deep and true love amidst the bubbly hiss of our soda fountain, the soda syrup bottles arrayed in a rainbow’s spectrum and promise, the incessant ring of an antique cash register’s bell which awards wings to countless angels, and the constant hubbub of friends, family, and strangers who helped to nurture, tender, and witness their growing affection. The wedding occurred at the historic Roycroft Inn in East Aurora New York, founded by the American visionary Elbert Hubbard (Mr. Hubbard was a renegade and an eccentric who wore an expansive, ever-brimming hat atop his head, to don the “thinkery” beneath which was equally larger-than-life. He was a romantic and an individualist who held a sky-deep belief in handcrafting goods, and impregnating every produced artifact, printed page, spoken word, and placed footstep with as much meaning and self-awareness as possible.)

The Inn was constructed and furnished with the ideals, hard work, and sheer creative force of "the Roycroft, " a most impressive art colony in the history of the United States. The bride and groom selected this location because it mirrored like no where else {save for 116 Market Street} the values, idyllic nutrition, spiritual balance, and full-blossomed creativity that binds and sustains the entirety of themselves. Kiersten has had an interest in Arts and Crafts (a British-based movement which Hubbard brought to America with his own reinvented style) for some time now, and her family hails from nearby Buffalo. It is with first-hand testimony that I can relay to you that the whole thing transpired with through-and-through magic. A puffy blanket of snow enwrapped the village which thousands of artisans called home; and the inn housed dozens of guests who knew the bride and groom throughout their childhoods, scholastic careers, workplaces, or some combination therein.

The ceremony took place at a cozy church which was hardly distinguishable from the tumbling snow around it, and from which hung on the edges of its roof weeping icicles. Brother and fellow co-proprietor of “the Fountain” Ryan Berley was the best man, and read from the pulpit the selection of Psalm 19, issuing this appropriate bit of scripture: “The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding,” For indeed the sun was shining through the stained glass chapel windows and the bridegroom did look, if I might say, rather sunshiny, with the smile of his lifetime underneath his signature moustache.

Ryan went on to further supplicate, declaring that “God’s laws are pure, eternal, and just! They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.” This line of scripture would be put to the test that evening during the reception when, for dessert, our “Rose Honeycomb” ice cream was served by the newlyweds who issued the ceremonial “first scoop” with a heart-shaped dipper. The purity and desirability of the Diety’s laws may get the blue-ribbon, but we’d like to think that that evening, our ice cream placed an honorable second.The pastor who married the two was an old college chum of Eric’s from William and Mary, and after their exchange of “I do”s, he enclosed the two soda jerks into their life of holy matrimony. We wish them all the love and happiness that our beating hearts can. For additional photographs, check out the amazing blog:

Speaking of love, happiness, and hearts, we appear to be right smack-dab in the middle of the season for it! Yes, once again, St. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you can trust with certainty that we’re doing our honest best to bring about the holiday with romance and class. Expected to see underneath glass domes the finest hand-rolled French-styled truffles that your eyes could catch or your tastebuds know. We’ll also be bringing out chocolate-dipped strawberries, jars full of conversation hearts, sugared fruit jellies, Jordan almonds (in white, pink, and red.) and we will be featuring our staple “Broken Hearts Sundae” (for those of you with the real thing, we hope that you’re on the mend to a full recovery.)

Additionally, we will be featuring the “Love Potion Ice Cream Soda”, made with Nesbitt’s Strawberry Soda (The company began in 1927 in starry Los Angelos, and in the 40’s and 50’s was advertised by the then-unknown knock-out Marilyn Monroe) and a scoop of our homemade Strawberry Ice Cream (our strawberry ice cream is one of the most difficult flavors to master, we’ve created a sort of jam base to the ice cream in addition to studding it with farm-fresh strawberries. Its flavor is exquisite.) along the rim of the fluted glass will be placed a quartered strawberry, representing each blood-surged chamber of the heart that palpitates madly when entranced by the spell of a lover’s glare.

That’s about all there is this go-around, dear readers. We wish that Love, in all its sacred manifestations, we will be with you, and that you will be with it. For Love cannot perish, only transform. For what force constructs the blossom and its sweet fragrance from the cold and chaos? Love itself.

It is better to find Love in peril than peril in Love,
The Franklin Fountain

Friday, December 3, 2010


It is precisely at this time of year that the seam between the world of drab and kicked-around materiality and the world of sacral luminosity is worn clean-through. While the cold sharp of Winter pinches outwardness, the warmth of life retreats to inwardness. Beings clump together from the greatest of distances, be they family or strangers, to be near the radiance of each others’ warmth and, perhaps, to fan the collected embers of their innermost selves. And through this spontaneous kindliness, the world becomes magical. More notice is taken, if only for fleeting instances, to the largeness of small miracles-- the scent of burning firewood tumbling from chimney tops in out-blown ruffles, the wheeling night sky shimmering with wish-entrusted stars too plentiful to count, the seasonal rise of generosity towards sick children and lonesome elderly. It is with this suffused sense of magic and the transformation towards better things that we invite you, once more, to stop by The Franklin Fountain. For us, this season opens up a sort of spiritual valve within us to flood your life and your customer experience with the most cheer, inventiveness, and love that we have to offer.

While many burrow into hibernation’s slumber this time of year, our “Clear Toy Candies” are coming out of theirs. WHYY’s newly launched “Newsworks” online journalism site has cast a lovely piece on how we make our Clear Toy Candy, along with a Youtube’d photo-essay on the subject. Ryan Berley is interviewed in our wonderful new kitchen space at Shane Candies while our beloved pastry chef Davina Soondrum and her sensational assistant Hannah Taylor create another beautiful batch of sugar candies from century-old moulds.
You can find the piece here:

Also on the Shane Candies site, Eric Berley was engaged in another historic to-do. It was at that very vicinity at 110 Market Street that Robert Aitken, a bookseller and printer who founded The Pennsylvania Magazine, printed America’s first English-language Bible in 1782. Eric, along with Bible historians, some clergymen, and former Philadelphia mayor Reverend W. Wilson Goode, assembled in the unveiled and restored Shane store front to read select passages from Aitken’s Bible to commemorate Public Bible Reading Day. The event was filmed by television stations and recorded on radio broadcasts, and for those assembled there that day and for many listening at home the commemoration was both significant and moving.

Fresh Cinnamon and Egg Nogg Ice Creams have returned for the season. We recommend them with one of our drool-producing homemade fruit pies. Additionally, we have brought back “Hot” Chocolate Ice cream, which is spiced with cinnamon, cayenne, and mombasa peppers. This flavor bears an Aztec heat, and is meant for only fireproof palates. Also, we have introduced our “Cardamom Chai” flavor, which is a collaborative effort-- the positively wonderful folks at Philadelphia’s “The Random Tea Room & Curiosity Shop” have graced us with a fine stock of their winning Chai Tea recipe, which we placed in a vanilla-based ice cream. The flavor is jungled with Assamese tea leaf grown by the banks of the Himalaya-bordered Brahmaputra river, crushed cardamom pods, ginger root, dried clove flower, crushed saffron crocus stigmas, and powdered cinnamon bark. This complicated but beautiful flavor is being used in our “Mt. Caramel” Sundae, which is an acclivous crag of Vanilla and Cardamom Chai ice cream drenched in a divine douse of homemade caramel sauce, spilling into an altar trench set with crumbled gingerbread, strewn with malt powder ash, and topped with a smoky tuft of whipped cream rising into the heavens. Test yourself and try one!

Well, that about does it for this go-around. We hope that you all have a lovely holiday season.
May you have light in darkness and warmth in cold.
May you find both in those around you and in your self.
The Franklin Fountain.

P.S.- We thought we’d leave you with a bit of sweetness:

The season permits with its cold frigid clasp
Candy creatures to make, their hides smooth as glass
Menageries prance in their crystalline structure
Translucent and crimson and emerald in color
While setting by windows they’ll bend dimming day
Their sinews catch lights, curling them in display
The reindeer and sailing ships, presidents and kings
The bicycling toads gather round now to sing:

“We are the CLEAR TOY CANDIES! We come but once a year!
We bring with us an elegance, a Christmas-season’s cheer!
We’re made of molten sugardust that faerie swarms deposit!
We’ve come to overtake your shelves with merriment and frolic!
In copper tubs our souls are stewed with vulcan fire’s breath
We’ll simmer down in ironware amid a chilly caress
We are the CLEAR TOY CANDIES! It’s our annual arrival!
An arctic sort of chilliness ensures us our survival.
In wrapping winds of wintertime our glassy sails will crescent
We sing with candy-slicken’d throats a tune that can’t be lessened!
We are the CLEAR CANDIES! At Christmastime we swoon!
Rejoicing with our sweetened hearts we sing of sugar dunes!
We sing of candy continents with soda water shores!
We sing of sugar blizzards and white marshmallow moors!
We sing ourselves a song until snoring we’re asleep
Forgetting what will finish us-- the hammer, tooth, or heat.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Autumn '10 SCOOP

To Our Patrons, Ashine and Esteemed:

The slow soak of autumn shawls city block-trotters, petticoats pinwheel in westbound winds, writhing branches on forested mountainsides en-kindle with fiery colors. These signals remind us yearly of the scarcity of warmth as the earth wheels itself into a shadow’s submersion. As we plummet into night, the value of a snug embrace, a seething cider, and a toasty pie slice rises like a moon-tugged tide. Once more, The Franklin Fountain is glad to furnish you with a romantic clime and roasted treats.

Pumpkin Ice Cream hangs once more on our flavor list! And that can only mean one thing: “The Great Pumpkin Sundae” has returned! This legendary sundae is the reward for true believers -- anyone who tastes it is catapulted immediately into a drooling nirvana. It consists of pumpkin ice cream (itself spiced with ground cinnamon and nutmeg), salted pecan halves, a buttery golden caramel sauce, barleyfield malt powder, whipped cream, and cinnamon dust. This elusive sundae is a magnificent soul-slosher. Stop by and try to become infused in its trance! Specialty “Whoopee Pies” reappear again this season -- pumpkinbread discs sandwiching gingerbread buttercream frosting. Once lunchbox treats for farm laborers, these delicious pastries now know the whimsical calligraphy of our signature. We have also introduced, for the first time “Honeycomb Ice Cream” to our menu; a honey flavored ice cream hived with homemade honeycomb candy clusters. The flavorful hidden nests are brittle toffee-like bits with a caramelized honey taste. They’re certain to make you drone with pleasure.

Recently we have assisted our friends and neighbors “Design for Social Impact” with their “Posters for the People” gallery opening at Penn State Great Valley, which featured an array of Works Progress Administration commissioned poster art straight outta the New Deal. We donated our famed Pumpkin Ice Cream to their event, affectionately nicknaming the flavor “Pumpkin for the People.” The attendees were all treated to our autumnal treat.

“Pumpkins unite! You have nothing to lose but your vines!”- The Pumpkunist Manifesto
In case any Philadelphians haven’t noticed, The Phillies have been swinging their way to the pennant with rousing success. We are featuring a few items to commemorate their victories. First off, we are debuting our “No Hit Split”, doffing our ballcaps to Roy “Doc” Halladay’s historic no-hitter in the first game of this year’s playoffs. We will serve in a banana boat three baseball-sized vanilla scoops “x”’ed with three strawberry syrup “strike” signals-- garnished atop with peanuts and Cracker Jacks. We will also be giving away FREE red and white jimmies every time the Philles win a playoff game. Additionally, we will be selling “Champ Cherry Soda” in shop, a Philadelphia soft drink founded by hot dog tycoon Abe Levis on 6th Street in 1896. Originally titled “Champagne Cherry Soda”, the name changed in 1950 after the Phillies won the pennant that year. As legend has it, the soda is supposed to bring good luck to the fightin’ Phils. So drink one today to bring the boys luck!

Once again, news of our delicious goodies has been inked in magazine type and has wiggled across airwaves. We have been featured in the October 2010 issue of “Everyday with Rachel Ray”, on page 154. There, our “Caramel Apple Pie” shake is elegantly displayed. In their own words, “The Caramel Apple Pie Hot Milkshake is a slab of warm pie sinking into a vanilla shake, draped in hot caramel and served with a spoon and a straw for mixing, eating, slurping and licking clean.” The concoction was created in the autumn of ‘07 by Ryan Berley and soda jerk hall-of-famer Elliot Landes. We have also been featured once again on “The Food Network”, this time on the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, this particular episode being entitled “The Best Thing I Ever Drank.” The episode featured Food Network personalities Duff Goldman and Marc Summers, who hailed Franklin Fountain drinks “The Egyptienne Egg Shake” and “The Chocolate Ice Cream Soda” to be their favorite drinks, respectively. The Egyptienne Egg Shake, a Heinbach-Berley creation, is an old-fashioned phosphate consisting of orange and rosewater syrups, a tincture of phosphoric acid, a beaten egg, sparkling water, ice, an Arabian date, and dried Blue Nile Lotus petal (when infused as a tea, the blue Nile lotus flower is said to produce a “feeling of joy that permeates the whole body, emanating from every cell".) The Chocolate Ice Cream Soda is a staple of The New York City soda fountain circuit. It is a chocolate soda, made with Fox’s “U-Bet” chocolate syrup, straight from Brookyln, and a scoop of our homemade chocolate syrup. The two Food Network personalities hemmed and hawed about which drink was superior, finally deciding that each drink held its worth based on their individual merits.

Meanwhile, on the Shane Candies front, we have been making significant headway in preparing the polished gem for its grand re-opening. We are currently restoring the building to its original lustre. Quite a bit of sprucing-up is underway, and while we don’t want to give away many details (although there are many beautiful ones), we can reveal that the interior palate of the shop will be inspired by the colors seen inside of Independence Hall. More is to come on this subject in the near future.

That’s about all for now, dear Fountaineers. Thank you once again for your patronage and attention.

Through chill and with warmth,

The Franklin Fountain

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mid-Summer SCOOP!


Look at this past July! These summer days are piled high with sunshine and sing-song, so much so that the mercury in our thermometers is quite near to going crackly through its glassy girdles. We don’t mean to sound repetitive or braggy, but it must be reported once more that we have smashed sales records in the midst of the sweltering sunstorm. We would like to once again thank our returning patrons and those arriving anew! Please continue to return in regular intervals so that we can happify your palettes, nullify your thirst, and electrify your hearts.

In more militant news, we’d like to report that war was declared upon us. Barry “The Nosh Guy” Eichner, a fellow Philadelphian who runs the food blog “Food Rulez” (, challenged us to battle in his “Ice Cream Warz”. What were the terms of battle? “Make a banana split, serve it up in a classic style, and let us judge it on 4 categories, Toppings, Ice Cream, Presentation, Creativity.” The other warring ice cream empires? Bassetts Ice Cream, Scoop DeVille, and More Than Just Ice Cream. We prepared, and when Eichner stepped into our territory,we signaled our recruits, and waged song and dance upon he and his cohorts. The Berleys and select staff crooned away to a recording of Louie Prima’s 1949 song “Banana Split for My Baby” while we made a split on our menu sharing the same title. He was knocked out, and awarded us victors in the departments of “Best Presentation” and “Most Creativity.” His full write-up can be viewed here:

In additional contest news, we would also like to report that we have been nominated for “Best Ice Cream Shop” on MyPhl17’s 2010 Philly HOT LIST. Please be sure to vote for us!

In even more award news, we have received, from Philadelphia Magazine, the 2010 award for “Best Ice Cream in Philadelphia.” This is just about as high an honor as you can get in this town, and we’re right thankful for it. We last received “Best of Philly” for “Best Date Spot” in 2009 and another Best of Philly ribbon for “Best Ice Cream” in 2006. Kudos to our staff for earning the honors! Without your earnest assistance, we would fail to transfix both critic and customer in our winning charm. As Philadelphia Magazine has observed and documented, we churn out the finest ice cream dainties, whir the best shakes, and provide the most ample swooning grounds. Pick up an issue to see for yourself!

Speaking of enchantment and romance, if you feel a desire to enhance both, then perhaps you should try stopping by Penn’s Landing in Old City in the near future. Beginning on August the 6th and continuing throughout September the 3rd, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation will be sponsoring FREE FIREWORKS at Penn’s landing each Friday evening from 9:30pm. Witness, both overhead and in the reflected and wavering glimmer on the Delaware, an elegant fireworks display, as luminous flora blossom explosively.

On Saturday, July the 12th, we were invited to attend the”Ultimate Ice Cream Festival”, sponsored by WHYY, at Philadelpia’s historic Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s oldest vendor. Bassetts Ice Cream, Fishers Ice cream, and Bellisimo Gelato also participated in the festivity. We served root beer floats with blueberry ice cream. Our root beer keg was being chilled in a vat of ice water, but was time passed and the heat index raised, we soon lost all of our ice to mother nature’s equilibrium. The folks at Bassetts were kind enough to lend us some dry ice (solid state carbon dioxide, for all the science fans) which we placed into our keg’s cooling bath. Immediately, the bin billowed with a sprawling and spooky fog. A crowd gathered, pointing at the spilling mist. For hours afterward, we had a long line of marketers seeking a root beer float. The event also included fun and games, including a game we concocted to eat a scoop of ice cream without using your hands, with the only available utensil being a handmade candy cane. The event was a blast and we thank everybody involved

We made an architectural discovery regarding our new property at Shane Candies. We are in the process of giving the Shane storefront a face lift, and while doing so, we came across an astonishing find -- we peeled away some curved galvanized sheet metal on the bottommost edge of the storefront and found hiding behind it a series of over-a-century-old curved arch lights, hinged glass doors originally used to aerate and illuminate the cellar. They are flecked with a chipping lapis lazuli paint and are of a royal azure color. They have been untouched for a stack of decades, and we will restore them fully in the near future.

Lastly, we have some news in the flavor department. Our peach ice cream is now made with fresh in-season peaches from Green Meadow Farm. We recommend that you try it in a Peach Melba Parfait Sundae with our house-made raspberry puree. Additionally, we have re-introduced our “Crème de Lafayette” ice cream to once again commemorate Marquis de Lafayette, the French aristocrat, philosopher, and General in the American Revolutionary War. Our ice cream flavor is a rich french vanilla ice cream, swirled with a blueberry and raspberry purees, emulating the red-white-and-blue colors adapted by Lafayette to emblem his militia’s cockade when storming the French Bastille in 1790. An interesting anecdote -- while visiting Philadelphia, Lafayette is rumored to have visited Durrand’s Pharmacy at 6th and Market, which stood as an early form of soda fountain. We’d like to think that both Lafayette and Franklin would proclaim the ice cream “c'est très magnifique!

Well, that’s about all this go around. We wish you continued gusto and glee this season.

-The Franklin Fountain

Friday, June 18, 2010


To The Citizenry of Confectionery,
You cocoa cravers, who hold in your hearts a drumming want for berry sauces, who ache for the salty dunes of rubbled almonds. You, who anticipate a kingdom of candy on whose sugared shores a sweet wind trills, keep this news close to your soul and offer it to the breezes: the Berley Brothers have bought Shane Candies! The official sale occurred rather quietly when Barry Shane, the eldest of the Shane clan, bequeathed his ninety-nine year old candy store over to the Berleys in The Franklin Fountain office. The Berley Brothers have promised to honor the Shane name and legacy by continuing the famed candy line for decades yet uncoursed. The news broke like a dawn, spilling out across newspaper headlines (including two articles penned by veteran Philadelphia Inquirer food columnist Rich Nichols) and throughout the web-work of food blogs in varied nooks of cyberspace. We can assure our readership, our clientele, and ourselves that we are humbled and honored to take upon the reigns of Shane Candies, which is one of the few remaining continuously run confectioneries not just in Philadelphia, but in our nation.

The entire staff of the Franklin Fountain has an anchor-deep interest in history. In fact, a spiritual resonance for our inherited histories is a pre-requisite for employment. To commemorate Shane Candies even in the smallest ways would affirm the deepest realms of our nature. So, without divulging too many secrets, we guarantee that we will revive Shane Candies to its brightest life, but more than this, to resuscitate fully a craft which has roots through centuries, and which was once integral to the economy and history of Philadelphia. We aim to re-open Shane Candies this coming Autumn season. In the meantime, please stop by The Franklin Fountain to pick up a card for a free candy gift to be presented to new and returning patrons! We also hope to publish a fuller account of the Shane Candy purchase, as well as their store history, in the coming months. Stay tuned for further updates!

Here at the Fountain, we have debuted a new ice cream flavor, "Mulberry", made from hand-prepared mulberries from Green Meadow Farm fixed into a preserve. The flavor is delicate and tickles neglected areas of the contemporary palette. Dr. Benjamin Franklin himself studied and planted mulberry trees in the 1750s and early 1760s when studying silkworms, imploring often that the nation grow a great multitude of trees so that a homegrown silk industry could develop in the colonies.
We have also made two specialty flavors for National Mechanics (the famed bar on 22 North 3rd Street), "Porter Ice Cream" and "Apricot Sorbet". Our Porter Ice Cream is made with "Flying Dog Brewery"'s "Gonzo Imperial Porter". It tastes smooth and hoppy, has an underlying richness, and is supplemented nicely by the creamy texture. "Apricot Sorbet" is another winner, being made from fresh apricots poached in sugar and Magic Hat #9. The flavor is fruity and more complicated, its ethereal sweetness plucks the tastebuds like lyre strings.

On June the 4th, our good friends at the gallery "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (on 116 North Third Street) held an exhibition called "The Roots of Root Beer" documenting the long history of a uniquely American beverage. The curators collaborated with Ryan Berley, borrowing and displaying many items from The Franklin Fountain's collection of ice cream & soda fountain artifacts. Ryan was there the opening night, lecturing about pharmacist Charles Hires who first commercially sold the drink. "Root" Beer Floats were also given away at the event opening, made with Art in the Age's signature drink, "Root" and our homemade vanilla ice cream. Please visit here for a recap on the event: VISIT BEFORE JUNE 27th!
That's all for now! Enjoy the warm weather, and please stop by the Fountain for a sweet drink, a warm smile, a cold ice cream, and a glad time!
-The Franklin Fountain