Our Story

The Olympia Candy Kitchen opened its doors on South Main Street in Chambersburg, PA in 1903. In the early years the Olympia was combination soda fountain and candy store, a popular downtown dining spot where business folks met for lunch and where the after-school crowd converged. Families came too, to enjoy the Olympia’s fine ice cream creations and take home some fine hand-dipped chocolates.

 In 1921, George Pananes, and his brother James, purchased the Olympia Candy Kitchen from founder J.K. Proferes and carried on the tradition of the finest confections and the freshest homemade soups and sandwiches in the area. This commitment and passion carried them through the hard times of the Great Depression and World War II, and set the stage for the 95 year (and running) ownership by the Pananes family.  

 In 1971, George’s son, Will, purchased the business and quickly ushered Olympia into a newer more modern era of advanced equipment and expanded production. In 1978, Will opened an old-fashioned ice cream parlor in the rear of the Olympia Candy Kitchen. Also rich in the atmosphere of the late Victorian period, the Olympia Ice Cream Parlor offered yesteryear goodness: fabulous sundaes, thick milk shakes, and nostalgic sodas all made with Olympia’s very own ice creams.

 In 1986, Will remodeled an old gas station into a beautiful Victorian cottage retail store on Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown, MD. This established a new tradition of high quality chocolates candies, as well as fine, unique gifts for the fast growing population of the Washington County area.

 Today the Olympia Candy Kitchen continues to thrive under the ownership of Tony Pananes, son of Will, with a turn-of-the-century look of hand carved display bars, hanging brass gas lights and the largest selection of the freshest homemade chocolates & candies you can find. Tony has expanded both the lines of chocolates created fresh on the premises and the fun bagged & novelty candies brought in to further diversify Olympia’s offerings. “Something for everyone’s taste” is the mantra around Olympia now and Tony continues to keep quality, freshness and customer service at the core of what keeps the business running after almost 115 year.

tony and roy

Third generation owner, Tony Pananes, left, with Roy Sollenberger- former head of candy production)