Event Network announces first HERSHEY’S Kitchens café

The first Hershey’s Kitchens café has opened at the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia.

Event Network, leading cultural attraction retailer, the Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) and The Hershey Company are pleased to announce the opening of the first HERSHEY’S Kitchen café. Guests at the Independence Visitor Center can now enjoy an array of sweet treats and savoury items at the new café, perfect for locals and visitors alike.

The café was officially opened on May 29th, ahead of the busy tourist season in the city. The opening ceremony featured an official ‘Plume’ cutting, with an oversized version of the iconic Hershey’s Kiss ribbon.

A tasty partnership

“This is an incredibly exciting partnership between The Hershey Company, Event Network, and the Independence Visitor Center Corporation,” says Jerry Gilbert, Principal and Chief Marketing Officer at Event Network. “To bring to life a café anchored by such an iconic Pennsylvania company—Hershey’s—in this historic place is a very unique collaboration. For the millions of visitors who will get the opportunity to enjoy a warm, fresh s’more—among other savoury and tasty treats—while planning their time in Philadelphia, their stop by HERSHEY’S Kitchens café will help to further commemorate their special experience. We are thrilled to be a part of delivering that experience.”

Event Network played a key role in the development of the new attraction, working closely with the IVCC and The Hershey Company on the café’s design, food menu, and retail space. Event Network now manages the daily operations of the café, in addition to its existing role overseeing the retail management of the IVCC’s Gift Shop.

Event Network first hershey's kitchens cafe

Event Network is committed to sourcing local products for its retail locations, wherever possible, and has continued this principle for HERSHEY’s Kitchens café. To complement the Hershey’s ingredients, it chose local companies such as Dietz & Watson, La Colombe, and Turkey Hill. The company also has several ongoing conservation initiatives and has included the use of sustainable or compostable materials for cutlery, paper straws, napkins, containers and bags.

The Independence Visitor Center is a popular attraction, welcoming on average 2.5 million visitors each year. HERSHEY’S Kitchen café is the final piece of the IVCC’s Visitor Experience Improvement Project, a multi-phase renovation of the venue.

“For the final phase of our renovations, we are thrilled to introduce a fantastic new café concept,” says James J. Cuorato, President and CEO, IVCC. “By working with the world-renowned Hershey Company and our longtime partner, Event Network, we have developed another great attraction for the Visitor Center. It’s fun, it’s family-friendly, and it supports a great Pennsylvania company.”

Indulgent treats

The café offers indulgent treats by the much-loved brand. It features locally-sourced savoury menu items, coffee beverages and themed retail products. Visitors can relax over lunch or snack in the pleasant seating area, which also features a dedicated ‘itinerary planning’ area.

Some of the features and experiences offered by the HERSHEY’s Kitchens café include:

  • Hershey’s Signature S’mores: Permanent s’mores-making station with graham crackers, custom marshmallow, and milk chocolate. Guests can also customise their s’more with other Hershey’s and Reese’s favourites;
  • Warm Baked Goods: Filled brownies, cookies & soft pretzels with a melted chocolate dipping sauce;
  • Indulgent Beverages: Signature Milkshakes, hot chocolate & Jolly Rancher Slushies;
  • La Colombe Coffee: Brewed and iced beverages by the Philadelphia-based coffee roaster;
  • Healthy Lunch Items: Freshly prepared salads & sandwiches with ingredients from local companies;
  • Custom Souvenirs: Apparel & home accessories featuring Hershey’s brand and Philly icons.

“We are thrilled to open our first HERSHEY’S Kitchens café location and share the goodness of Hershey’s with visitors to Philadelphia,” says Suzanne Jones, Vice President, The Hershey Experience. “Hershey has a rich history of creating experiences for consumers to make memories at our Hershey’s Chocolate World locations, and we’ve packaged up the fun for the new HERSHEY’S Kitchens café with IVCC at the Visitor Center.”