By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D.
Photos by Danielle Debley
Tis the season to be jolly, and if candy makes you jolly then a visit to Macris Chocolates is in order. And if you’re a chocoholic, Macris Chocolates is definitely the place for you.
“My brother and I grew up in the candy business,” says Elena Macris. “By the time I was in high school I learned how to make chocolates using the same recipe my Grandfather, John Macris, used in the 1920s. I still use the same recipe.”
In 1919 four brothers immigrated from Greece. Locating in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, the brothers, John, Louis, Steve, and Jim Macris quickly decided to start their own candy company, selecting “Philadelphia Candies” as the name.
“My Grandfather and his brothers wanted a different name and they came up with Philadelphia Candies because they knew Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love,” explains Macris. “And I selected Macris because I wanted my shop to have a connection with my family. What better way than to give it the family name.”
After graduating from college and working for an engineering firm for a couple of years, in 2012, Macris moved to the Harrisburg area. “I love the candy business and wanted to get back into it,” she says. “So I asked my Father if he wanted to open another shop in the Harrisburg area and he said, ‘Not really. I want to retire.’ Then I said I would open my own shop but I would buy the chocolate from him.”
Her Father’s dream of retirement hasn’t materialized. He and Macris’ brother, John, continue to take care of the family business back in the western part of Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh. Macris says Philadelphia Candies has a factory and a retail store located in Hermitage and another retail store in Boardman, Ohio, which is close to Youngstown.
Macris is quick to say that her close connection to her family carries over to her shop. “I buy a lot of the chocolate from my Father, and I use his factory when I need help with larger orders,” says Macris. She also purchases chocolate from Cargill and Zurich-based Barry Callebaut.
It’s hard to resist not looking at all the chocolates, truffles, creams, caramels and other candies that Macris has in her shop. Using the highest quality chocolate, cocoa products and ingredients available, Macris says all of the chocolate centers of her chocolates are made from scratch, including marshmallow creams, meltaways, cordial cherries, freshly roasted nuts and more.
Macris says she uses copper kettles and her tables have slabs of marble on top for the chocolate to cool down. “I use my family’s 100 year-old-recipe, and I make my candy the old-fashioned way,” says Macris.
“The shop’s two signature confections, the Butter Cream Croquette and the Peanut Butter Croquette, are year-round favorites,” says Macris. “My customers also love the Sea Salt Caramels.”
Customers can choose their own favorite assortment from a bulk showcase that offers over 100 varieties of chocolates. Throughout the shop, boxed chocolates, custom gift baskets and holiday and unique hostess gifts are readily available. A wide variety of corporate gift solutions are available as well. “During the holidays, we sell a lot of gift towers and gift baskets,” says Macris.
The shop also serves Penn State Ice Cream straight from University Park’s Berkey Creamery in State College. And if you want a cup of coffee the shop sells Denim Coffee from a local roaster located in Carlisle. Tables and chairs are available to sit for a spell as you take time to relax, enjoy your brew, and indulge in a sweet or two.
Macris Chocolates, 1200 Market Street, Suite 202, West Shore Plaza, Lemoyne, PA. (717) 412-7129. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 noon to 4 p.m. Closed Monday.