The History of the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift and Gourmet Show was Founded in 1949 by a few local suppliers displaying at Christmas and Easter RCAP meetings, it was an instant success. Eight original exhibitors continue today. They are Asher’s Chocolates, Buy-Vue Displays, Casani Candy Co., Crawford Candies (Plantation Candies, Inc), Koppers Chocolate Specialty Co., Merckens Chocolate Co., and Nestle Co. (Peter’s Chocolate Co.) Housed in Philadelphia’s Broadwood Hotel then the Ben Franklin Hotel, the Show grew steadily. In 1961 it was moved to the Exhibit Hall of the Sheraton at what is now Philadelphia’s Suburban Station. Exhibitors numbered 35, some with multiple booths. In 1974 the Show celebrated 25th year with 20 “originals” still in the Buyer’s Guide. By the mid-eighties, relocation was critical to accommodate continued expansion, and in 1984 the Show moved to the Valley Forge Convention Center. By then, 85 exhibitors were showing, many with expanded multi-booth displays. Attendance soared into the thousands, and by 1989 floor space had doubled again. In 2006, the show moved to The Atlantic City Convention Center in order to accommodate all exhibitors on one show floor, and provide a destination for attendees to incorporate business, networking opportunities and fun into their visit to the show.
With its dedication to service, RCAP has provided the show at NO ADMISSION CHARGED TO THE TRADE, and at unmatched low cost to exhibitors. Show management is the responsibility of volunteers, as is the floor operations. Free educational seminars with complimentary Continental Breakfast are open to buyers, and there are no schedule conflicts with the “all business” concentration of the Show. All of this effort has enjoyed the dedication of untold individuals over the decades, as well as the spirit of Philadelphia RCAP people at large. The original Committee members who pioneered the Show were Harry Nuss, James Asher, and Philip Wunderle III, Present Chairman Emeritus. Later, the reins were picked up by Bill Medlicott Sr. and Bud Asher. The next committee was led by Chairman, Jack Lees, with members Marty Bevan, Peter Gerhard, and Erwin von Allmen. The current Committee is chaired by Bill Westernman and Vice Chairman Dave Giambri, Joe Crevino as Secretary, Don Spillane as Treasurer, Seminar Director Bruce Smith. As we are in the 21st Century, RCAP will welcome its special challenges… especially maintaining the intensely personal touches that have established its preeminence, as attendance and exhibitor numbers soar. With our people and their enthusiasm, confidence is easy to sense as we become a world-class event by a unique local organization… Retail Confectioners Association of Philadelphia.