For us candy making began almost a century ago when the Stefanelli family traveled from Italy, bringing with them the rich tradition of Italian confections. Careful choosing of the finest ingredients coupled with careful hand preparation mark this style of candy making. Since the opening in 1929, Stefanelli's has furnished Erie with the finest, handcrafted chocolates and candies.
The store, today, reflects the heritage that the Stefanelli's brought with them from Italy. Candies are made in large traditional copper kettles over open flames, a slow and intensive process. Hard candies are pulled by hand while still over three hundred degrees. Many of the confections we make are done in batches as little as thirty at a time.
Our specialty, sponge candy, reflects the Italian candy making tradition. Their irregular shape is, for us, a proud statement of their origin, each batch being hand poured. No two are the same size, but all are equally enchanting to one's taste. If you have never experienced sponge candy, do yourself a favor and try some. They are a delightful milk chocolate surrounding what can best be described as melt in your mouth sugar sponge center.
We prefer making our own fillings. It is an essential component to delivering you our scrumptious filled chocolates. However, many companies buy their fillings in bulk, preferring not to be bothered with such details. Not us, we want to make sure each piece is the most delicious it can be. The attention to detail does not stop there. After the chocolates are filled, our candy-makers hand initial each one, denoting its flavor. We even pack the finished candy manually, assuring the highest degree of quality control.
Some may say that our methods are inefficient and antiquated. They also say we could increase our production if we automated more. They are looking at candy differently than we do. We see it as special and to be enjoyed with family and friends. Not something to be made on an assembly line. The demand for our candies throughout the years, has told us people appreciate the way we do things. Our candy is made with the Italian tradition, but is American as apple pie.