Dunmorean of the Month: Samantha Czankner

By Steve Svetovich

Chocolate anyone? Ask Samantha Czankner. 

Czankner took an idea she derived from her late grandparents and ran with it.

Remember when Lou and Florence Perrella ran the Dunmore Candy Kitchen?

Czankner certainly does.  She was the little child in the back helping her grandparents make the chocolate candy. The Dunmore graduate is 30 now and decided to take on a mini version of the family tradition.

She runs a candy business – Candy Lollipops and More – from her home. She started in 2018 and her little candy operation took off.

“I came up with the idea for this after making chocolates for family birthday parties and events'” she said. “I remember watching my grandparents make candy. I helped out a bit and knew I could do it. So I thought why not?”

Czankner has a Facebook page – Candy Lollipops and More – and a web site listed on the page. 

Her candy products include chocolate lollipops, solid chocolate pieces, peanut butter cups, peanut butter meltaways, Oreo balls, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzel logs, chocolate covered mini pretzels, cake pops, chocolate covered Rice Krispy treats, chocolate covered Swedish Fish, chocolate covered Oreos, chocolate covered chips, chocolate covered marshmallows, Buckeyes, non perils, white and dark chocolate and candy trays starting at $20.

The Dunmore candy maker markets her products through Facebook, her web site and word of mouth. Many of her regular customers live in Dunmore and surrounding areas. 

Orders can be placed by calling 570-691-9516 or via Facebook. Pickup is in Dunmore or free delivery within 10 miles.

There are Easter eggs and Easter candy bouquets available to order. 

Lucky Charms green cocoa bombs and green mint hot cocoa bombs will be available for Saint Patrick’s Day. 

Special orders were taken recently for Valentine’s Day. “I had 55 customers for Valentine’s Day. One came in from Philadelphia to pick up an order.” 

The Dunmore Candy Kitchen, still in operation, was established in 1904 by Jimmy Veras. 

The Dunmore Candy Kitchen was taken over in the early 1960’s by Czankner’s late grandfather Lou Perrella, a long time store employee. Perrella and his wife Florence ran the Dunmore Candy Kitchen for four decades until his passing Nov. 4, 2000.

However, his wife Florence ran it for a short time until she passed and it turned over to Charles Perrella who ran it for two years until 2009. 

Laura Reauther is the current owner of the Dunmore landmark located near Dunmore corners on Drinker Street. She continues to,operate it as the Dunmore Candy Kitchen, still extremely popular and reputable. 

“So there was quite a candy tradition there and I picked up some of the candy making ideas as a young child,” said Czankner.

The young candy maker said she operates out of her home on Somers Street in Dunmore.

“I usually sell by the pound and the prices are kept very reasonable for the customers. I have one helper, but do most of the candy making myself.

“Things really started to pick up when the COVID-19 pandemic began. COVID certainly made us busier. We made over 700 Oreo bombs for Christmas alone.

“I started out making lollipops for family parties and graduation parties. My grandfather made all kinds of chocolate candy, so the thought was I could too.

“Right now I am doing it out of my home, but I am thinking someday a candy store would be nice. The Dunmore Candy Kitchen has been in operation well over 100 years, so my grandparents had the right idea.”

Czankner, very personable, is a 2009 Dunmore graduate. She received an associate’s degree in criminal justice in 2011 from ITT, a technical school. 

She currently works for Keystone Community Resources. 

“I would like to open a candy store in time,” she said. “The public seems to love it and I tell them I am doing what my grandfather did. I am carrying on his tradition. He would have loved this.”

Max Conway Announces Bid for Dunmore Mayor

Mark “Max” Conway, Jr. has announced his intention to run for Mayor of Dunmore in the Primary Election on May 18. He is a graduate of Dunmore High School and Temple University, which is where he met his fiancé, Ally Gallo. 

Following his graduation, Max worked for Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. after which he ran Congressional campaign finances in California and New Jersey. 

Following his time in politics, Max returned to the area and is now associated with Christian Saunders Real Estate. 

Working in real estate has made him very aware of the challenges facing residential and commercial property owners and Dunmore residents as a whole. 

“Dunmore is at a critical crossroads…from looming budget issues to a health and wellness crisis that has existed for far too long,” says Conway. 

“The time has come to ask ourselves: What kind of a community do we want to be? With the right people and plans in place, we can start to look to a Dunmore that is more advanced, healthy and prosperous.” 

Max is the son of Mark J. Conway and the late Mollie Maloney Conway. He was raised in a large Dunmore family where learned the value of respect, participation in the community and the importance of giving back to that community.   

Max is enthusiastic about sharing his ideas and will be posting his platform ideas on Facebook and discussing them with residents as he campaigns throughout the borough.