Fun and creative Easter finds: Local shops create wow-worthy candy
STORY BY EMILY RYAN
For Digital First Media
On a cloudy Sunday morning, third-generation candymaker Randy Bevan smiled brightly as he talked about his Easter creations, stopping occasionally to check an industrial mixer whirling hot caramel in a copper bowl.
“I make everything daily. The name of our business is Bevan’s Own Make Candy, and people have a lot of questions about that,” he said. “It’s just a play on words because if it’s ‘made,’ it’s past tense. It’s old. ‘Make’ is now.”
Opened in 1959, the Media candy shop offers everything from a 3-foot chocolate bunny affectionately called “Harvey” to Easter party mints and chocolate bunny-topped pretzel rods. The top seller: bite-sized coconut cream and dark chocolate eggs, once dubbed “penny eggs.”
“People who grew up with them, now their grandkids get them. It’s fun,” described Bevan, who makes 10,000 pounds in assorted flavors.
At Tradestone Confections in Conshohocken, sample five types of eggs, including coconut cream, hazelnut praline and milk chocolate nougat.
“The eggs are really good. The coconut has become a favorite of mine. I’d say the hazelnut is a crowd favorite,” said sous chocolatier Andrew Teter. “We airbrush everything or hand paint with cocoa butter.”
So does Christopher Curtin of Éclat Chocolate in West Chester, where he sells 1-inch eggs filled with milk chocolate caramel ganache, cherry, hazelnut or coconut almond. But it’s the 7-inch “avant-garde” eggs that really attract attention.
“They’re not your traditional poured or cast eggs. These are actually cut and carved and created just like you would a sculpture,” the master chocolatier and owner explained. “They’re filled with other eggs. It’s almost like the Russian dolls. One goes inside the other.”
Prefer bunnies? Hop over to Strawberry Bakery in Malvern for rabbits with character, ranging from small to 3 feet tall. There’s a snowboarder, a saxophonist and a bunny pushing a baby carriage. One drives a sports car, another a tractor. “Lance” rides a bicycle.
“We call him Lance Armstrong,” chef Jean-Pierre Bournazel joked. “We can personalize chocolates by writing people’s names on them. Everything is homemade European chocolate.”
Back in Media, Randy Bevan and a co-worker poured the hot caramel onto a cooling table. When asked about his favorite Easter candy, Bevan laughed and said, “It depends from day to day.”
Then he added, “My favorite part of the job is just keeping my family business still going strong.”