Edwards Freeman Nut Company (www.EdwardsFreeman.com) has operated on East Hector Street for decades as a destination for sweet-tooths seeking their favorite classic candy and health-conscious types looking for nuts and dried fruit.
In 2014, Conshohocken got a modern confectionery right on Fayette Street, when chefs Chip Roman and Fred Ortega, who first worked together at Le Bec-Fin, joined forces to open Tradestone Confections (TradestoneConfections.com) and a storefront and café named Tradestone Café.
Tradestone Confections came together after several years of Ortega having Roman taste the unique flavors he was creating as the Pastry Chef at La Croix. About two years ago, they began discussing creating their own confection line. “As a pastry chef, I always wanted to focus on chocolate,” Ortega says. “Tradestone allows me to focus on experimenting to create new flavors.”
Can’t remember the name of the candy your grandmother always had for you during a visit? “We receive a lot of requests asking us to track down a candy that someone remembers enjoying as a kid,” says owner Rob Nelson. “Tracking down older brands can be tricky, because there used to be so many regional brands, but we are successful more than we are not.”
Edwards Freeman also produces its own nut butters. Flavors include peanut, cashew, almond, plus six other assorted flavors such as cappuccino and butterscotch. “We make them right in our store,’ says Nelson. “We offer tours of the store and people are amazed when they see how we make the peanut butter.” The historic candy destination also carries chocolate from nearby Asher’s Chocolates, plus treats from smaller chocolatiers.
A few of the items Ortega suggests you try from Tradestone Confections are the Maple Syrup & Passion Fruit infused chocolate and nut lovers should try the Salted Peanut infused chocolate. There’s also the more playful Hazelnut Crunch, made with finely baked ice-cream-cone batter.
While you’re always welcome to visit, Nelson suggests that a special time to visit is during the holidays. “We build gift baskets and trays for your friends and family that will be packed with all of their favorite treats,” he says. “Our hand-dipped cashews are always a big hit.”