Victorian Sweets: Exoticism & Agrarianism in Local Confectionery
Eric Berley and Ryan Berley are co-owners of The Franklin Fountain and Shane Confectionery. Kevin Paschall is the head chocolate maker at Shane Confectionery.
Convenes 5:30-7:30 p.m. on November 21, December 5, and December 17, 2019
The first session includes a dessert reception catered by The Franklin Fountain.
Using 19th century advertisements, photos, packaging, and broadsides from the Library Company of Philadelphia’s rich collections, co-owners of The Franklin Fountain Eric Berley and Ryan Berley and head chocolatier of Shane Confectionery Kevin Paschall will explore the written and visual culture of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century trades of confectionary, chocolate, and ice cream. The first session will reflect on 18th and 19th century ice cream culture, such as “pleasure gardens,” local cream, and exotic flavors offered right here in Philadelphia. In the second session, participants will examine a range of 19th century chocolate recipes and advertisements made for urban consumers that tout far-flung origins while trumpeting pastoral manufacturing. The final session will look at the inherent tensions expressed in local confectionery and the global sugar trade.
Shane Confectionery is the oldest continuously operating confectionery in the United States, with candy made on site since 1863. The Shane family took over the business in 1911, installing elaborately carved woodwork, stained glass and curved windows to showcase the chocolates and confections crafted in the kitchens above. In 2010, the business transitioned to brothers Eric & Ryan Berley, owners of the nearby Franklin Fountain, who embarked on a meticulous restoration of the building and business. Candies and bean-to-bar chocolate continue to be made on-site, with an emphasis on natural, locally-sourced, fair trade ingredients, seasonal specialties, and old-fashioned quality.
Owned and operated by brothers Eric & Ryan Berley, The Franklin Fountain was founded in 2004, but is an authentic re-creation of an American ice cream parlor and soda fountain, circa 1915. Ice cream made on-premises is scooped and served in cones, sundaes and floated upon ice cream sodas drawn from a 1904 bronze & onyx soda fountain. Hot fudge, caramel and other toppings are made using fresh, local, fair trade ingredients. Soda jerks are dressed in period attire, serving customers an authentic early 1900s experience in a historic building with ornate tin ceilings, marble counters and mosaic penny tile floors.