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How sweet it is

Speach Family Candy Shoppe celebrates 95 years

Michael Speach stands among his wares at Speach Family Candy Shoppe, which is celebrating its 95th anniversary Nov. 6 and 7. Speach’s great-grandfather, born in Italy as Michele Spicciati, founded the M. Speach Candy Company in 1920.

Michael Speach stands among his wares at Speach Family Candy Shoppe, which is celebrating its 95th anniversary Nov. 6 and 7. Speach’s great-grandfather, born in Italy as Michele Spicciati, founded the M. Speach Candy Company in 1920. Photo by Ashley M. Casey.

— For four generations, the Speach Family Candy Shoppe has been supplying Syracuse’s sweet tooth with its renowned brickle, chocolate bars and more. Now, owner Michael Speach is giving back to the community and his fellow small business owners with Speach’s 95th Anniversary Celebration.

The anniversary celebration grew out of Speach’s open houses and Christmas decorating parties — a last hurrah for Speach’s social life before the holiday rush sets in.

“Basically, we take Halloween down … and Christmas goes up,” Speach said of the changing of the seasons. “Once November hits, it starts to fly, and there’s no stopping it.”

This year, Speach is opening his shop’s doors not only to the public but to his comrades in the “buy local” movement and area charities. He is inviting neighboring businesses to join the celebration by sharing samples of their products, coupons, gift certificates and more.

“Small business is where we are at right now … We all have to work together. Doing an event like this is a celebration for us, but it’s trying to promote other small businesses,” Speach said. “Everyone that’s going to be showing product is a company that I’d be happy to put my name next to — they’re just as good as we are.”

Olive on Brooklea, the Fayetteville-based artisan oil and vinegar boutique, will be one of the local businesses highlighted at Speach’s 95th Anniversary Celebration.

“We’re going to try to incorporate some of her balsamic vinegars and oils,” Speach said.

Speach has also collaborated with local blogger Jamie Ann Owens — better known as the Society Gurl — to create a collection of “top-shelf truffles,” based on Owens’ favorite cocktails and using local liqueurs.

At the anniversary celebration, customers will be able to sample locally made wine and beer, enjoy food from various local vendors and vie for 30 different raffle prizes, the proceeds of which will benefit the five nonprofits Speach chose for his summer “Buy to Benefit” initiative.

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