Valentine’s Day is just days away, and while you may be searching to find that perfect gift, businesses are working to provide them.
“I’m surprised there’s not a line here,” Hedonist Artisan Chocolates customer Michael Tomb, of Rochester, said. “I’d get down here immediately, because I’m sure there will be in the next couple of days.”
At the confectionary shop in the South Wedge, Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas.
“We’re kind of slow at the beginning of the year, and then Valentine’s Day is just a sprint of a week,” Owner Jennifer Posey said.
They make thousands of chocolates by hand in the weeks leading up to the big holiday.
“I get here early, like 7 or 8. Get the machines going and then I’m here until 7 or 8,” Kaila Gallion, who has worked at Hedonist for three years, said.
The chocolate bark is melted, mixed with spices and other ingredients before cooling and making it into their pretty little boxes.
“We get everything fresh, and we make everything fast and it goes so fast,” Gallion said. “It’s amazing, really.”
At Hedonist not only are all the chocolates made by hand, but every Valentine’s Day they come out with a special line of chocolate with customized art right on the chocolate.
“Every year we commission an artist to make art on chocolate,” Posey said. “And this year we have the ‘Stuck on You’ collection, which is images of succulents, and it’s been very popular.”
But it’s the sweet stories behind the gift that Posey loves even more.
“It’s fun talking to all the customers and hearing — one of the questions I like to ask is, ‘What else are you doing for Valentine’s Day?’” she said. “And you hear, ‘We’re going out to dinner, or I made this mug, or I did this and I did that.’ And I get to know our customers a bit better and all the fun stuff going on in the world.”
Stories like one from Tomb.
“There was a time a long time ago that I got chocolate on one of the most famous streets of chocolates in Brussels, Belgium and brought her some of that,” Tomb said. “That’s always been a treasured memory, but [Hedonist] is just as good.”
— SPECTRUM NEWS