With 102 years to its name, Purity Candy Co.'s richness lies in its history.
Purity Candy began in Lewisburg in 1907 with "all natural ingredients, simple machines and carefully tested recipes," under the ownership of inventor Ford T. Birchard, according to the company's Web site.
A prolific writer and candy maker, Ford invented and "tinkered" with candy machines, said John Burfeindt, whose family took over the company in 1985.
Purity Candy Co. is hard at work preparing its Easter candy. Owner John Burfeindt said customers call from all over the nation to send friends and family members their favorite holiday candies.
During that time period, everyone was expected to know some sort of trade, Burfeindt said, and inventing was Birchard's.
The original candy store opened on Market St. in Lewisburg, which had a soda fountain, sold sandwiches and had ice cream.
After the Great Depression in 1936, Burfeindt said, the store moved to North 8th St., becoming strictly a candy store to save on money. The company's Route 15 location in Allenwood opened in 1991 to help with production, and prior to that, had a store in Williamsport for about 10 years.
"We never wanted to leave Lewisburg," Burfeindt said, "so we opened up here (Route 15) for manufacturing."
Purity has since moved its Lewisburg-based shop back to Market St. from North 8th St., although it's not in its original location.
"Our history's what it's all about," Burfeindt said. "We get people who have come in here all their lives."
Arlene Zeiber, 87, is a living testament to the company's history. She has been working with Purity since she was 17 years old. She and her late husband, Buck, decorated chocolates together.
"I've been doing it so long," Zeiber said. "It's just natural to fall in line with whatever season we're in."
After 70 years, Zeiber laughed and said that it makes her tired to think about all those years of hard work.
Her time at Purity began when there was no refridgeration, she said, so certain things had to be completed on cooler days or in the basement.
Everything was also done by hand, since the machines used today weren't around.
"Machines made a huge difference," she said.
As a child, Zeiber would go to the Purity store on Market Street like a lot of kids would do after school at the time, she said. Zeiber said she would go for a root beer from the soda fountain.
Today, Burfeindt says customers call from all over the nation to send friends and family members their favorite candies.
"People are moving all the time anymore," Burfeindt said, which helps for business.
Some customers that have moved away or attended Bucknell University remember their favorite holiday candy, and call requesting to have some sent.
Others call and, remembering a certain candy they had as a kid, will ask if it is still made.
"The answer is always, 'yes, we do'," Burfeindt said.
Burfeindt said after 9/11, he received a lot of calls about certain items at the candy store. He said he thinks many people began feeling nostalgic and needed some attachment to the past.
Burfeindt said what he thinks sets his company apart from other candy stores is their presentation and packaging.
Placing candy in clear, plastic bags allows for customers to see if the candy is as "picture perfect" as it's presented in its advertisement.
Its Allenwood location on Route 15 has no secrets in its product either, Burfeindt said, as the store provides customers with a panoramic view of production of its candies.
What's more, is his assurance of fresh, quality candy.
"I'd like to think that you can't taste anything fresher than this," Burfeindt said.
Burfeindt added the candy is on constant rotation to ensure the freshest product for its customers. Small batches of certain candies, like chocolate-covered pretzels, help prevent waste or prevent expired candy from being sold.
According to the company's Web site, Purity still uses "the same recipes, techniques and attention to quality so important in the creation of fine candies."
For more information on Purity Candy Co., visit www.puritycandy.com.