The Candy Factory - Past + Present + FutureA walk down memory lane - 12 years of Coworking in Lancaster at The Candy Factory.
We LOVE all things coworking, We LOVE our community, We LOVE Lancaster, and we LOVE that we have made it twelve years, thanks to YOU!
Our journey started with The Creative House of Lancaster (CHL) in 2006, a meetup for creative professionals. Out of this group The Candy Factory (TCF) was born, and opened its doors in 2010 by Anne Kirby, Max Philips, George Hunter and Lou Nolt with 15 members. Anne took over the business a year after opening, and we’ve been a proud woman-owned business since!
Over the past 12 years, we have grown to 250+ members, have had thousands of people cross our threshold, hosted thousands of events, and have seen companies start and grow! We have proudly incubated a variety of organizations from Make717 to the LGBTQ+ Coalition. We have been there for our coworking family as they have navigated work and life, and we’re honored that thousands of people have called TCF their home, even if just for a short time.
The member stories are endless, as well as the collaborations and friendships made at TCF. We are honored to still have members today who were part of the CHL way back when. This speaks to the kind of people who choose TCF as their work home – talented, creative, open, passionate, friendly, kind, driven, caring and compassionate.
TCF Grand Opening 2010 in The Kepple Building on Queen Street in downtown Lancaster, PA. Photo by TCF Member Matthew Lestser
This robust community is made up of professionals from all walks of life open to sharing their skills and knowledge. Our members have brought us to 12 years, have helped shape the evolution of our community and space, and made all of the milestones below possible.
In 2014 we moved from our home in the Keppel Building (an old Candy Factory) to our current home in Warehouse D, just across the street. We started an Art Collective on Water Street called the Arch. While it was a great concept, we closed that project in 2015.
In 2015 we started KICKASS Female Entrepreneurs, bringing women from around the region together.
In 2016 we merged our central market coworking space, Groundworks, with our primary site on Queen Street.
In 2017, we helped open Rock Candy at Rock Lititz, and in 2018 we sold our share to Steve Palmer, allowing us to expand here in Lancaster. Our expansion included The Studios, private offices for members, and the build-out of Jelly Bellies, our supervised child care program for members’ kiddos. Also in 2017 we opened Perkup & Co. A Social Enterprise Cafe which we unfortunately had to close in 2018, but our members continue to benefit from our toe dip into the cafe world.
That year, we also partnered with Ben Franklin Technology on a BB&T grant, opening up the doors to more tech startups in the area with the Ben Franklin TechCelerator program. Ben Franklin Technology still has their Lancaster base at TCF.
Warehouse D, our current location.
2018 was a busy year, with our founder Anne presenting to the House Small Business Committee in D.C. about the gig economy and coworking. What’s more, in 2018 we hosted the 1st PA Coworking Alliance Conference and won the SCORE Lancaster Small Business Award.
In 2019 we launched our onsite childcare center, Jelly Bellies! Parents can drop their kiddos off for two hours of supervised care while they get work done, or just take a break. Parents can also work out of Jelly Bellies with their children at one of the two workstations. We pride ourselves in being a family + pup friendly facility.
We saw significant growth in January 2020, became part of the The Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit Program(KIZ), and were preparing to celebrate our tenth anniversary, but like many businesses, we closed our doors due to COVID in March 2020. While the pandemic slowed us down, we kept innovating. During this time, we launched our new Media Studio for members, the So Good Media Company, and So Good Lancaster, a website and social media platform that highlights everything that makes Lancaster so good (from small businesses to nonprofits), all while working on and refreshing our space, including our Sixth Floor!
This year we started to bring our regular events back. We’ve hosted music, art, improv, and more. We continue to identify gaps in our community and offer ways to fill those gaps, from providing media support to free babysitting for select events.
Let’s just say the last 12 years have been busy, rewarding, exhausting, exhilarating, overwhelming, scary, exciting and just plain fun, and we wouldn’t be able to do this without the support and love from our TCF members, and the Lancaster Community.
Our continuous evolution helps us serve the needs of our community. That’s why we’re excited to introduce our NEW Social Club Membership which starts August 11th 2022!
Our Sixth Floor Clubhouse is for those looking for an alternative space to be social, but are not in need of coworking. A chill gathering space where members can gather, connect, imagine, create and thrive. Our Clubhouse will be open every Thursday and Saturday from 7 PM – 10 PM and is only $50/month for singles and $75/month for couples. Bring three friends to the club, come hang out, enjoy the space, and have great conversation in a relaxed lounge atmosphere.
Your membership also gives you access to all of our internal clubs including our wine club, whiskey club, and Friday happy hours. Additionally, it gives you access to our members’ robust Slack channel where you can stay connected and network.
As we envision the future of TCF, we see a vibrant space where you can work during the day and socialize at night—an accessible CoWork + Social Club for everyone in the heart of Lancaster, PA.
Since our inception we have been fortunate to experience tremendous growth, but our values continue to remain true to our humble beginnings. We pride ourselves on keeping our space:
- Community oriented
- Sustainability focused
- And above all accessible
Our August 6th party, not only is a celebration of twelve years, but a celebration for what is to come. We’re just getting started. Join us!
Click here to schedule a tour, and to learn more about our new Social Club Membership.
Pictured above is our first location located in The Kepple Building on Queen Street in downtown Lancaster, PA.
Pictured above is our current location under construction in 2016. We are located in the old Lancaster Storage Building on Queen Street in downtown Lancaster, PA and our tower which consists of six floors had no windows.
THE CANDY FACTORY
Lancaster City CoWork + Social Club
A Place To Work & Socialize With Other People.
We think outside of the traditional office space:
We Share, We Gather, We Imagine, We Create, We Thrive, We COWORK!
Schedule a tour HERE.
The Candy Factory
342 N. Queen St.
Lancaster, PA 17603
Monday - Thursday 8 AM - 7 PM
Friday - 8 AM - 5 PM
(Happy Hour for members every Friday at 4 PM)
Saturday 9 AM - 12 PM
Sundays - Closed