NYC’s ‘oldest chocolate factory’ opens ahead of Valentine’s Day

NYC's 'oldest chocolate factory' opens ahead of Valentine's Day

NYC’s ‘oldest chocolate factory’ opens ahead of Valentine’s Day


NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (Reuters) – Homemade heart-shaped marshmallows dripping with chocolate at Li-Lac Chocolates’ 9,000-square-foot production space in New York City, the chocolate factory ramped up production just in time for Valentine’s Day. The busiest time of the year.

Just three days before the Valentine’s Day holiday, Friday’s staff were busy decorating chocolate hearts with colorful sprinkles, dipping cherries in chocolate, and preparing toffee toppings.

They are also racing to get the chocolates into red and gold boxes for sale online and at the company’s six retail locations.

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“You know, I work about 18 hours a day to keep up with demand,” said Anwar Khoder, the factory’s master chocolatier and production manager.

From a business standpoint, Li-Lac president and co-owner Anthony Cirone said it was the second-biggest holiday season for sales. “We do more chocolate sales on Valentine’s Day… than any other time outside of Christmas.”

Despite some challenges in storing some of its raw materials, the chocolate company is optimistic about its sales prospects this holiday season.

“We have some of the same issues with supply chain shortages and price increases,” Cirone said, adding that the company is doing its best to address them.

The company built its online business during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it said store sales began to grow again as tourists and commuters began returning to Manhattan.

“People love chocolate, you know, it’s a nice little break and treat for people,” Cirone said.

Li-Lac Chocolates has been in operation since 1923 and will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, all handcrafted using the founder’s original recipes from the 1920s.

It makes what is called “old school chocolate”.

The National Retail Federation expects spending on Valentine’s Day to hit $23.9 billion on Monday, up from $21.8 billion in 2021.

It said sweets – including chocolates – remained the most popular item, followed by greeting cards and flowers.

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Reporting by Kristen Kiernan; Editing by Diane Craft

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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