BACK MOUNTAIN BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: AH! SOME CHOCOLATES


First Posted: 2/1/2014

Ah! Some Chocolates, 100 East Overbrook Road, Shavertown, already a popular destination for chocolate lovers from the Back Mountain and beyond, will expand next month to include an artisans marketplace, according to co-owners Mary Hepner and Theresa Novak.

The two chocolatiers first opened the business in downtown Wilkes-Barre in 2006, and in 2008 purchased a former antique shop in Shavertown, the current location. At that time, they added a cafe and dessert bar to the business.

In 2011, the Brown Barn Cafe was leased to John Costello and Bryant Belknap, who then took over that portion of the business. Next month, however, Hepner said Costello and Belknap do not plan to renew the lease, and it will again become the responsibility of Ah! Some Chocolates. She said the business is seeking someone to come in and either work for them running the cafe or to lease the space.

The artisans marketplace, which will open in March and expand to include outdoor displays when the weather changes to spring, will feature locally-made gift and food items.

“It’ll be unique artisan gifts and really wonderful hand-crafted artisans’ food,” said Hepner, adding there is still a small amount of space available for rent, and anyone interested in selling their goods there may contact the business.

She said the idea behind the addition of the marketplace is to provide a spot in the Back Mountain where people can, in one place, sit down for lunch at a cafe, do some shopping and stop by the chocolate bar on the way out.

Ah! Some Chocolates specializes in high-end European Chocolate, and is one of three East Coast providers of the rare Fortunato #4 chocolates. According to Hepner and Novak, they were rated number six as best chocolatiers in the nation by an online publication in 2010 and number five in 2011.

While the business offers a variety of items, Hepner said the truffles are their best sellers.

“They really are what people seek out,” she said, “because they are so special.”

In addition to the business’ physical location, it also maintains an online store at www.ahsomechocolates.com, where customers can make purchases and have them shipped anywhere in the country on a seasonal basis. The business also provides custom orders for weddings, showers and other special events.

When asked what got her into the chocolate business, Hepner said she was simply following the popular life model of “do what you love.” When she was younger, a friend, who often travelled to Europe, taught her to love the chocolates with which he returned.

“We [she and Novak] just have a passion for chocolates,” she said.

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