Imagine being a 10-year-old and eating all the candy you’ve ever wanted. For Sam Goldenberg, that wasn’t a dream. He’s a direct descendent of the man who created the region’s famous chocolate and roasted peanut concoction – Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. Young Sam worked in the factory, packing cartons, filling orders, loading trucks and repairing machines. “I was very proud of the family business,” says Sam. “My best memory is having lunch with my father and grandfather every day. Well, that, and having access to all the candy I ever wanted.”
Goldenberg’s was born in Philly
Sam explains that the Goldenberg Candy Company started as his grandfather’s little candy store on Frankford Avenue. All kinds of sweets were sold here, but its most popular candy was the Peanut Chew, which eventually became its sole and star product. Over the years, Peanut Chew production gained speed, moving to three different locations until settling in a large factory on State Street in Northeast Philadelphia in 1997.
Peanut Chews even went to war
From the early 1900s on, the region loved the famous local candy bar. It was even served as a ration bar to World War I soldiers because of its high-energy, high protein recipe of chocolate and nuts.
Sam went to medical school
Although a candy-coated future waited, Sam really wanted to become a physician. He studied medicine at Tulane University Medical School, Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Temple University Hospital. He became a board-certified urologist and within time, joined Virtua.
97 years old and as sweet as ever
Today, Peanut Chews is 97 years old. You can buy it at local Wawa or from the vending machine at work. In 2003, the Goldenberg’s sold the business to candy giant, Just Born, maker of Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales and Marshmallow Peeps. But the Goldenberg name continues to live, emblazoned on the peanut and chocolate bar that made Sam’s family legacy so very sweet.