His name isn’t Charlie, but that won’t stop him from opening a chocolate factory.
That’s exactly what Allen McDowell, of Morristown, plans to do in the coming weeks, as he opens the doors to the Chester Chocolate Factory at 87 Main Street in Chester.
After leaving the world of Wall Street stock trading, McDowell said he had an entrepreneurial itch to scratch, and began researching the world of chocolate.
McDowell came across a group of craft chocolate makers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn four years ago, and began his own tinkering with single-origin cocoa beans, including organic and free trade products to help make a healthier dark chocolate product.
McDowell began creating the chocolate in a Dover production shop and will offer it to customers at the new store. But don’t let the name fool you – the shop will be more factory than chocolate shop, offering a tasty bevy of items.
“The dark chocolate that we make is for the real chocolate connoisseur, but we’ll have something for everyone here,” he said.
McDowell also owns A Cut Above Fruit Arrangements, which sells and delivers fresh fruit bouquets and arrangements. Many of that brand’s products will be offered in the Chocolate Factory store as well, he said.
For those familiar with Chester's Main Street, it may seem like deja vu all over again. The Chester Chocolate Factory is located in the space formerly occupied by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
The store will offer products from Jelly Belly as well as
candied apples and just about everything that can be covered or robed in
Of course special orders for holidays and occasions are available as well.
“The chocolate lover will get their fix from bon bons to truffles and other coated products,” McDowell said.
Looking beyond the four glass cases that will soon be filled with an array of items, the photo of a little league team on the back counter stresses the atmosphere McDowell is aiming for.
“It’s going to a family-style business,” he said, as a handful of part-time employees from the area will be running the store on a daily basis. “This is a personal growing experience for me, but it’s not just that; chocolate is associated with good experiences. And that’s what people will have when they come here.”
As the cases begin to fill in the coming days and final touches are put on the shop, McDowell says he plans to open the doors on the weekend of June 14.