‘Tis the season for good food, sweet treats, and a visit from Santa

By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D.

The holiday season is finally here and there’s no better time than to visit Hershey to see what Jim and Cindy Hess’ restaurant, café, and bakery have to offer.

First on the agenda, is The Hershey Pantry. With its signature giant iced cinnamon roll on the minds of customers waiting to dig in, along with other customers patiently waiting for their orders of berries and cream baked oatmeal and stuffed French toast to be delivered, it is no wonder The Hershey Pantry has been voted by the readers of Harrisburg Magazine as the  #1 breakfast spot in Central Pennsylvania for over 20 years.

Located just outside of Chocolate Town, USA, it is a one-of-a-kind restaurant, combining the cuisine and atmosphere of a trendy urban eatery with the cozy warmth of a small-town diner.

Opened in 1990, The Hershey Pantry quickly garnered awards not only for its breakfast menu but for its lunch and dinner menus, as well as, a selection of delicious baked goods. “All of our baked goods are made on the premises,” says Cindy Hess.

For lunch, enjoy sandwiches hot from the grill, wraps, and sensational salads. Customer dinner favorites include the Chicken Carbonara, a tasty combination of snow peas, mushrooms, prosciutto, chicken over linguine in Alfredo sauce, and the Broiled Homemade Crab Cakes made with premium lump crab served with smashed roasted potatoes and a Caesar salad. The restaurant also offers an interesting array of appetizers such as Crispy Cauliflower with sweet chili glaze and sesame seeds and crab stuffed mushrooms, Taco Tater Tots and Bleu Cheese Bread. And of course, their mouth watering assortment of desserts is always available.

The Hershey Pantry promises a relaxed and welcoming dining environment that is sure to make any meal an occasion.

A BYOB establishment, The Hershey Pantry does not accept reservations. Hours: Monday – Thursday 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Closed Sunday. The Hershey Pantry is located at 801 E Chocolate Ave, Hershey, PA 17033.

Pantry Café 

Also owned by Jim and Cindy Hess, the Pantry Café is located inside the Hershey Story Museum. Serving the same menu as the couple’s dining establishment, The Hershey Pantry, the Pantry Café is the perfect setting for small events.  Kids’ birthday parties are ever popular at the Pantry Café.  An added plus, Santa makes an appearance on every Saturday in December and photos with Mr. Claus are encouraged. The Pantry Café is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 63 West Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033. Call Colette at 717.533.7505 or contactus@thepantrycafe.net  to book your next party.

Desserts Etc.

Indulge your sweet tooth and support a local bakery at one of Central Pennsylvania’s top cookie and pastry shops. Desserts Etc., also a coffee shop, is the brainchild of Jim and Cindy Hess and offers both retail and pre-order selections. Fresh and seasonal ingredients are combined to offer an ever changing menu of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes and breakfast sweets. Retail selections that include sugar free, gluten free and health conscious items are available along with lots of mouth watering treats. The bakery case is filled with a mind-boggling mix of frosted cupcakes, chocolate mousse-filled Kiss pies, overloaded brownies and éclairs. The cookies are massive enough to share and the Fudge Bombs are out of this world. Desserts Etc. is the perfect stop to satisfy your sweet tooth. Drop in to pick up some items to go or have a seat and relax while you enjoy an espresso or a cup of Peet’s coffee. Custom-order cakes are available as are grab-and-go lunch items. Christmas cookie trays are also available. Allow for a 24 hour turnaround time. Place orders by Dec. 20.

Located at 840 E Chocolate Ave, Hershey, PA 17033,  Desserts Etc. is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Phone: (717) 533-7505.

From Chocolate With Love

Most would agree that the absolute best gifts are edible. Who could turn down a gift box containing  one of Desserts Etc.’s fresh-baked signature items—a Fudge Bomb?  By the first of January 2019, From Chocolate With Love, another brilliant idea of Jim and Cindy Hess, will become a reality.

“Folks will be able to send their loved ones a personal gift that has been home-made by our bakers,” says Cindy Hess. “They will be able to place their order online and select which Fudge Bomb they would desire to be sent. The gift box will be shipped with overnight delivery within 500 miles of the gift sender.”

“We are really excited and look forward to offering this service,” says Jim Hess. “Many of our customers crave our Fudge Bombs but live in other places than Hershey. This service will allow them to enjoy our signature item—a fan favorite— without leaving their home and driving to Hershey.”