After my kids, Chocolate is one of the great loves of my life. I mean after my kids and my husband… I said husband. I promise I said husband.
Allow me to explain.
A few years ago, while still living in Manhattan, I heard of this great place where you can decorate chocolate, make a chocolate treat, and then pick to your heart’s content from rows upon rows of candy. Naturally, we visited often. Then we moved. Then a Chocolate Works opened by me! That’s what I call luck.
My daughter and I, along with the majority of her nursery school class, had the tremendous fortune of visiting this new Chocolate Works in Garden City over February break. While the kids were making a chocolate “pizza” (assembling pretzels on a golden (ticket) platter, covering them with milk chocolate and then decorating the whole “pizza” with every color chocolate imaginable), I was learning about their offerings and trying desperately not to lick the walls.
I was excited to learn how each Chocolate Works franchise is customized to its owner’s imagination. No two locations are the same, but you will find common items at each. This includes the 30 foot “I Love Lucy” style conveyor belt, the vast chocolate and candy displays, the chocolate fountain, and of course the party room where the real magic happens. Let’s also not forget about their signature cocoa covered truffles. One thing is for sure, Chocolate Works is certainly not your typical chocolate/candy store!
One of the unique Garden City offerings was Gifford’s Ice Cream. As I said above, chocolate is my game. I like ice cream but it takes a lot to impress me in the ice cream department. Well, let me tell you, I was im-pressed with Gifford’s. Made at a small dairy in Maine, this five time award winning ice cream was beyond delicious. This ice cream tasted like you went for a walk in the summer in a small town, there was a homemade ice cream parlor there, and you had to stop and get some. That is quite possibly the best ice cream compliment I could give and you know exactly what I mean! Creative flavor names included Maine Lobster Tracks, Black Bear, Smurf, Mt. Katahdin, and of course my choice – Mint Chip.
Besides the ice cream, I was really impressed with all of the custom items available at Chocolate Works. Not just for the variety but for the creativity. You can get something personalized as you wait, you can do small batch orders (meaning you can get creative for your next event without breaking the bank), you can order favors, you can order chocolate with your camp logo, you can have any shape or size made (they had examples of both a tooth and a foot!), you can even print a picture right on the chocolate!
Chocolate Works offers classes (drop off available, age 5+), public and private workshops (they recently had wheelchair bound seniors from a nursing home come and the staff brought the decorating to them!), local non profits events, ladies night outs, class field trips, and corporate gifts.
With April break right around the corner, Chocolate Works is offering a bunch of fun workshops. Since this location is sandwiched between some delish lunch spots you can drop off your kid/s and be margarita bound in five minutes flat.
At the end of the day a store like this is simply about having fun. It brings out the inner kid in all of us and Mark, the owner, knows and embraces this. In fact, he often opens and/or re-opens his door for customers drooling at the window outside of business hours. But my favorite tale was about a perk his wife enjoys. She’s been known to log-on to the store’s security camera to see what’s there, call up Mark and place her order for her dessert!
Chocolate Works in Garden City is open Monday – Thursday and Sunday 10am – 9pm; Friday & Saturday 10am – 11pm. Chocolate Works is nut free in the party room (but chocolate containing nuts are sold in the store). They also offer a menu of gluten free products.