Since its founding in 2011, Emily’s Entourage (EE) is grateful to have developed meaningful relationships with our local community. These relationships have transformed into partnerships that have been integral to EE’s success towards fast breakthroughs and a cure for nonsense mutations of Cystic Fibrosis (CF), and we are thrilled to recognize these valued partners in a new blog series, “CommunitEE Partners”. EE has a deep appreciation to this special network of friends and family, they represent the people held closest to our heart, and we cannot imagine being on this journey without them. This inaugural feature, in time for a chocolate-filled Valentine’s Day, highlights the local gourmet candy company, Sweet Stuff!
In 2010, Sweet Stuff opened a new store in Suburban Square in Ardmore, PA, which happened to be where Emily grew up and where EE first originated around a kitchen table. This gourmet candy shop has been in business and family-owned for over 50 years, and the owner Maria Cassidy is one of the original advocates for EE’s mission. She first reached out to the Kramer-Golinkoff family 9 years ago because she wanted to get a donation jar set up in her store in honor of the critical work of EE.
Little did Maria know that EE and Sweet Stuff would be a perfect match! Emily is well known to have the biggest sweet tooth imaginable (not to mention a recovering gummy candy addiction due to her CF-related diabetes), so it made perfect sense to spread the EE message at such a deliciously sweet establishment. During the first year, Maria matched every donation that was given for EE at her store. By setting up an EE display and donation jar, she initiated a community-wide campaign where local businesses displayed EE jars of their own. And she still has an EE jar in her store to this day!
As the years progressed, Sweet Stuff’s contributions increased, particularly surrounding the annual Evening with Emily’s Entourage gala in Philadelphia. In fact, Sweet Stuff’s famous, fully-stocked candy bar has become a highly anticipated and adored fixture at EE’s Philly gala, and Sweet Stuff has continuously guaranteed that EE’s gala delights as guests pack a sweet treat takeaway at the end of the evening.
From day one, Maria has been an ardent and committed supporter, and the future only holds more delicious collaborations with Sweet Stuff! EE is humbled and honored to have such a palatable powerhouse dedicated to aiding in the journey towards fast breakthroughs for CF!