Trading a Wall Street career for an artisan chocolate company might seem like a risky swap, but Evan Gappelberg has a knack for spotting trends.
As a stockbroker in the 1990’s, he saw the potential of video gaming and was instrumental in taking an upstart video gaming company called Take Two Interactive Software public.Take Two turned out to be a great investment and made early investors twenty times their money as it rode the video gaming trend, which is now a $66-billion-dollar-a-year industry.
Today, Gappelberg thinks he’s spotted an exciting trend again and finds himself at the helm of an artisan chocolate company in the Hamptons appropriately named: Hampton Chocolate Factory.
“Chocolate has been reinvented as an upscale, even jewel-like gift; chocolate is the new wine,” Gappelberg says.
Indeed, it would seem he’s onto something, given that Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, with a net worth of $20 billion and whose family was the great Bordeaux winemakers of Mouton and Lafite vineyards, has chosen a chocolate factory as his latest venture.
“The Hampton Chocolate Factory was born out of the idea that the Hamptons needed an artisanal chocolate brand to get behind, something local, something delicious, something exclusive, something that could be indulgent and cool, just like the Hamptons,” Gappelberg says.
But the brand is more than just chocolates.
“We live in the Hamptons with our three kids, love the lifestyle, and want to see the land and lifestyle preserved for future generations,” Gappelberg explains. “Our way of ensuring that is to donate a portion of sales to The Peconic Land Trust, which means when you're enjoying one of our delicious chocolates, you're also contributing to land conservation in the Hamptons; now how sweet is that?"
Gappelberg has the perfect partner with his wife, Caroline, a FIT graduate with a focus on marketing and design, to present the world with an exotic collection of designer chocolates delivered in posh, stylized packaging.
”I am thrilled to be living in the Hamptons while building a Hamptons brand and collaborating my designs with the world’s best chocolatiers,” Caroline says.
The Hampton Chocolate Factory collaborates with the best chocolatiers in the world, including the former pastry chef from Daniel Boulud, and other talented French chocolatiers who bring their unique creations to the Hamptons under the Hampton Chocolate Factory brand.
Their all-natural, preservative free, kosher chocolates have gone up against the very best chocolatiers and have been ranked #1 in taste tests.
“We selected only the best of the best and tried to create a unique line of chocolates that represents the Hamptons' unique lifestyle,” says Gappelberg.
The company’s signature chocolates, the Exotic Bonbon collection, are infused with exotic fresh flavors, including:
- Dark Hawaiian chocolate ganache with a hint of black lava salt
- Coconut ganache and lemongrass with dark Jamaican rum
- Creamy matcha green tea from Kyoto in white chocolate
- Creamy passion fruit infused with vanilla
- Raspberry pate de fruit infused with bourbon vanilla
- Colombian coffee ganache with green cardamom infusion and many more.
“[And], our line of artisanal chocolate bars have savory flavor pairings, such as the Peanut Butter & Jelly Bar, which is a masterpiece of creamy peanut praline layered with a sophisticated raspberry fruit puree and then enrobed in slow melting 72% Dark Chocolate and sprinkled with organic raspberry powder," Gappelberg says.
The company currently is offering their luxury line of chocolates and other amuse-bouches on the web at:HamptonChocolateFactoryand in select Hampton storefronts; Hampton House in Westhampton Beach, Sonny's in East Quogue, Schmidt's Market in Southampton, Macari Vineyard in Mattituck, Raphael Vineyard in Peconic, Lenz Vineyard, Duckwalk Vineyard in Southold, and Clovis Vineyard in Jamesport with more retail locations coming soon.
“So far the feedback has been nothing short of phenomenal,” says Gappelberg.
If all the stars line up properly, they plan on opening a Hampton Chocolate Factory branded retail storefront in one of the storied Hampton towns in the next 12 months.
“The expansion opportunities for this brand is only limited by our imagination, which is why we are looking forward to an exciting and sweet 2014,” Gappelberg says.