Once the mystery and magic of chocolate gets into your blood, it’s hard to escape from it. Just ask Angela and David Emerson who run Amarah’s Chocolate Co., a candy/gift store at the Taft Corners Shopping Center in Williston, Vt.
The husband-and-wife team didn’t see candy making in their future when they started their careers. David was in hospitality; Angela in health care. But a stint managing the Green Mountain Chocolates retail shop convinced Angela she had a love for making and selling chocolate.
The two took out a small business loan in 2003 and subsequently opened up what was then a fledgling enterprise. Perseverance and pluck enabled the two to slowly but steadily grow the business. Today, they offer a broad range of chocolate-covered cordials and chocolate treats, walls and walls of candy and a packed display case of chocolate truffles.
Reportedly, the compact 1,200-sq.-ft. shop has the largest selection of retail sweets in Vermont.
As president of the company, Angela handles the finances, online orders and strategic planning. She also does the chocolate decorating and creates sugar art, such as very elaborate and detailed sugar eggs and snow globes as well as display pieces for corporate clients.
David is the chocolatier, creating signature cherry cordials and salted caramels as well as a wide range of moulded chocolates, everything from painted fairies and wizards to tools of the trade for virtually every profession.
“You name it, I probably have a mould for it,” he says.
The company also provides personalized candy buffets for clients wanting to enhance their special events.
Both Angela and David realize that their dedication to the craft has probably slowed their growth as a business. It, however, has only enhanced their reputation amongst customers.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
The original form of the Snickers before they started adding PRPG and other short-cut, cheap additives.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A biologist waist-high in waterproof gear gathering samples, taking notes and observing our beautiful planet.
What issues concern you the most about the confectionery industry and why?
Chocolate and candy are no longer a “treat”; they have both become massively available and more so, lacking in quality. Chocolate and confections are now a passive grab ‘n go that you pop into your gob [mouth]. It seems fewer covet the quality of a handmade artisan chocolate or the pure simplicity of a sugary confection. Even fewer take the moment to experience it, feel it, smell, taste and enjoy the sensation and pleasure it gives. Companies are putting more additives, non-essential chemicals and highly refined oils into their confections.
What’s the last book you’ve read?
438 Days At Sea by Jonathan Franklin.
What is your pet peeve?
Hidden acronyms to hide chemicals in our foods. Genetically modified foods.
If given the chance to choose anyone, whom would you like to collaborate with?
Steve Callahan, The Author of 76 Days Adrift.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Do not talk! Think.
What excites you most about your job?
The freedom of creativity. For every idea I am able to implement, I have hundreds more backing up in my thoughts.