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