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Sweet Seat

Mar 11, 2015 08:57AM ● Published by Erica Shames

When U.S. House and Senate Republicans met in Hershey last January, for the first joint House and Senate Republicans Retreat in 10 years, they understood why Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey (R-Sweetest Place on Earth), was appointed to the sweetest job in the Senate. 

“In his continuing fight against the deficit – the candy deficit -- Toomey has accepted the weighty responsibility of stocking the Senate’s coveted “Candy Desk,” said Elizabeth E.R. Anderson, Toomey's communications director.

Way back when

Since 1965, the Candy Desk has been located in the back row, on the Republican side of the U.S. Senate, adjacent to the most heavily used entrance to the Senate Chamber, explained Julie E. Adams, the 33rd Secretary to the Senate. 

“The Candy Desk duty is Mounds of responsibility,” Toomey said. “I campaigned for this assignment on the platform of life, liberty and the pursuit of Peeps and hope Pennsylvania’s treats will sweeten the bitter partisan atmosphere.” 

Sen. George Murphy of California originated the practice of keeping a supply of candy in his desk for his fellow senators, Toomey said. Each senator who has occupied the desk since has carried on the tradition of providing their colleagues with a sugar rush. While the Candy Desk is stocked by Republicans, it is intended for the enjoyment of Senators from both sides of the aisle. Past Candy Desk occupants have included: Sen. Mark Kirk, (R-Ill.), in 2011; former Sen. Rick Santorum, (R-Pa.), in 1997; Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.), in 1987; Sen. Richard Lugar, (R-Ind.), in 1977, and a number of others, Anderson said.

How sweet is it?

Pennsylvania, the snack capital of the world, according to CandyIndustry.com, ranks first in the production of chocolate, potato chips and pretzels. There are more than 2,300 food processing and manufacturing companies in the state.

Candy industry historians attribute the concentration of candy makers in the state to German (Pennsylvania Dutch) settlers who populated the state. The German immigrants were well known for making chocolate and other confections.

In the late 1880s, Milton Hershey established the Hershey Co. Today, the business is a global confectionery leader, according to the Hershey Co. Employing 13,000, the company works year-round to produce more than 80 candy brands, which account for an annual revenue in excess of $7.1 billion.

“We are home to the best confectioners in the world,” Toomey said. “Hershey’s, of course, is headquartered in Central Pennsylvania. Mars makes Three Musketeers in Elizabethtown. Just Born creates Peeps in Bethlehem. And we are proud of our smaller candy makers too, including Asher’s in Kulpsville, Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz, Josh Early Chocolates in the Lehigh Valley and many, many more.”

Pennsylvania is home to more than 200 confectioner companies, which employ about 10,000 workers. These include Gertrude Hawk, Cherrydale Farms, R.M. Palmer, The Warrell Corp., Frankford Candy & Chocolate Co., Quigley Manufacturing, Lukas Confections, Wolfgang Candy Co. and Sorbee International.

All in the family

Toomey and his family are not strangers to Hershey. At different times, Sen. Toomey has taken his three children there. Toomey said he wanted the appointment to the Candy Desk “to showcase Pennsylvania's delicious treats.” 

Toomey knows and has been in contact with many of the people involved in the industry.

“My favorite candy is Three Musketeers made in Elizabethtown,” Toomey said. “I have a bowl of fun size [Musketeers] in my office. I plan to stock the Candy Desk with Pennsylvania’s finest chocolate and deliciousness to ensure a surplus of sweets.”

If he had not chosen political service and opted, instead, to work in the candy industry, Toomey said his dream job would have been “quality control officer at the Three Musketeers factory in Elizabethtown.”

For more information visit the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Confectioners’ Association at pcma.com.

Written
by Jeffrey B. Roth

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    This Saturday morning story time-art-studio-mashup is a whole lot of fun for your little ones age...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • chttp://engage.pcad.edu/winter2018

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Young Artists Academy for Grades 6.7.8.9 YS13, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10a.m. - 12 p.m....


  • Youth Studio Art I for Grades 1.2.3

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Youth Studio Art I for Grades 1.2.3 YS11, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., $1...


  • Youth Studio Art II for Grades 4.5

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Youth Studio Art II for Grades 4.5 YS12, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, January 27 - March 17 10...


  • Intergenerational Drawing (8 & up)

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Intergenerational Drawing (8 & up) CE 189, Saturday, January 27 - March 3 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., $1...


  • Short Story Writing

    02/10/2018
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Short Story Writing CE 208, Saturday, January 27 - March 3 (no class on February 24) 10 a.m. - ...


  • Intro to 3D Printing

    02/10/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Intro to 3D Printing: Saturday, February 10th 1-3 p.m. Learn about 3D printing and 3D modeling....


  • The 135-year-old Berlin Philharmonic is consistently ranked as one of the best orchestras in the ...


  • February 10, 2018 | 7:00pm Treat your Valentine to a concert featuring Nashville Recording Chr...


  • Books Undone

    02/11/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/12/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Adobe InDesign

    02/12/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Adobe InDesign DES 154, Monday & Wednesday, January 29 - February 28 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit,...


  • Illuminated Letters

    02/12/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Illuminated Letters CE 206, Monday, January 29 - February 26 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $195 Matt Chapma...


  • "The Blues Show"

    02/13/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    What does "blue" mean to you? Make work that shows it -- the color blue, Blues music, blue in th...


  • Homeschool Art Studio Ages 6-13

    02/13/2018
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Homeschool Art Studio Ages 6-13 YS 40, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m....


  • Books Undone

    02/13/2018
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Books become the canvas for contemporary artists in this national juried exhibition. Exhibition i...


  • Homeschool Physical Education

    02/13/2018
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Students engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity through a variety of enjoyable game...


  • Business Practices for Creatives

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Business Practices for Creatives DES 200, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., 1 c...


  • HTML5 & Website Design

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    HTML5 & Website Design DES 155, Tuesday, January 30 - April 3 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., 1 credit, $475 ...


  • Drawing (Portrait & Figure)

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Drawing (Portrait & Figure) CE 91, Tuesday, January 30 - March 20 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $245 Evan ...


  • Intro to Social Media Marketing

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Intro to Social Media Marketing SM 101, Tuesday & Thursday, January 30 - March 1 6 p.m. - 9 p.m...


  • Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media

    02/13/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Acrylic Painting and Mixed Media CE 238, Tuesday, January 30- March 6 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $215 Ju...



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