FARRELL, Pa. (WKBN) – Daffin’s Candies celebrated its annual open house and “Swizzle Stick Day” at the Farrell factory on Sunday but this year, it was bittersweet.
Jean Daffin, who started the business with her husband Pete, passed away last Thursday. Pete passed in 1998. Their philosophy for the business was simple: provide good service to everyone.
“I know that even though she’s not with us physically, she’s here,” said Retail Manager Connie Leon. “This was one of her favorite days of the year.”
The event attracts thousands of candy lovers who get a tour of the chocolate factory, free samples and bunny ears.
“You look around, and you see generations of people who’ve come through. They bring their kids, they bring their grandkids,” said Stan Lefes from Daffin’s Wholesale Distribution. “Even though it’s raining…it’s still a beautiful day here when we open up our factory and invite everyone in to come and see.”
A day at the chocolate factory is sure to make kids smile. There were huge solid chocolate rabbits and fun characters, even a special visit from the Easter Bunny.
“I think it’s a good thing for the kids to learn,” Leon said. “They can actually see how things are actually done in real life.”
Military veteran Michael Brown says it’s a family tradition.
“We were stationed down at Fort Stewart, Georgia. We moved up here, my wife’s from the area. She introduced it to me our first year up here, and we’ve been here every year since.”
The Daffin family business still has an impact in the Shenango Valley.
“You go anywhere and you say, ‘Yeah, I’m from Sharon, Pennsylvania,’ and they say, ‘Yeah, Reyers, Daffin’s, Winner’s,'” Lefes said.
The people at Daffin’s dedicated this Swizzle Stick Day to Jean’s memory.