Sofa shopping at Hildreth's in Southampton. DAWN WATSON
LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton opened for the season on Saturday, April 30.
Mesh outdoor furniture.
Boehlert porch in Southampton
Photo by Dawn Watson
“Hamptons chic” just got a little more delicious.
Though Evan and Caroline Gappelberg began their journey to become the artisanal Willy Wonkas of the East End just over a month ago when they founded the Hamptons Chocolate Factory line, the East Quogue couple have already thrice sold through their entire inventory.
“Chocolate is the new wine,” Mr. Gappelberg, a former Wall Street stockbroker, said of what he sees as a growing demand for the sweet stuff. “We realized there was no local chocolate brand out here, so we created one to fill that need and will be partnering with the world’s finest chocolatiers to create a quality artisanal product that matches the high-end nature of the region.”
If chocolate is the new wine, more than $10,000 in sales shows that the brand new Hampton Chocolate Factory, an online enterprise, is having a fairly phenomenal premiere vintage. The company’s line of bonbons and chocolate treats continue to sell out as quickly as they are delivered to local shelves.
Hampton House in Westhampton Beach, Sonny’s Prime Meats in East Quogue and Schmidt’s Market in Southampton are three of more than 10 East End locations that already carry the online luxury chocolate line, but those numbers are exponentially increasing, the couple reported. They are already eyeing the possibility of opening a “store within a store” at East Hampton’s Red Horse Market.
The Gappelbergs said the most popular of their products thus far is the ancho chile-infused Holy Molé Bar, which costs $8 and adds a dollop of spice to its dark chocolate taste, as well as an equally unique PB&J Bar for the same price.
“It’s like an adult version of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” Mr. Gappelberg laughed. “People absolutely love it.”
The Hampton Chocolate Factory currently sells five South Fork-inspired gift sets online starting at $80, which the Gappelbergs—East End residents of more than a decade—say reflect the characters of Westhampton, Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Montauk.
“Montauk is a cool little fishing village represented by our classic [set of 24 assorted bonbons and 10 chocolate treats],” Mr. Gappelberg said. “Westhampton is the closest hamlet to the city and has a little bit of everything in it, so we added in six assorted chocolate bars.”
The Southampton, Bridgehampton and East Hampton gift sets are the company’s three most incrementally luxurious—the latter of which contains the company’s entire collection and sells for $215.
Hampton Chocolate Factory’s gift sets all include boxes of colorful bonbons—from stripes to splatter paint—that come in exotic flavors, such as lime sesame, wildflower honey, matcha green tea, yogurt blackcurrant and lemon fig caramel.
Ms. Gappelberg, whose friends now call her “Lady Chocolatta,” contributed the success and popularity of her “chocolate parties”—similar to classic Tupperware or jewelry parties—to the Hamptons Chocolate Factory line’s combination of taste and beauty.
“They’re like little jewelry boxes,” Ms. Gappelberg, a Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, said of the black box of bonbons. “Women have told me the design of the boxes even make them look like little purses without the straps.”
But her source of inspiration is unexpected. Ms. Gappelberg said she is passionate about making her line of chocolates appear as fabulous as they taste to honor the memory of her father.
“I was absolutely devastated by his loss and really just needed something to focus on and be passionate about,” she said of the recent loss of her father, Sidney Weber, which ultimately led to the company’s formation.
Ms. Gappelberg said her father is represented by the red diamond resting atop the Hamptons Chocolate Factory logo, which includes a wave-like frame around a cocoa leaf and seagull with a Montauk Lighthouse centerpiece.
“His favorite color was red and he loved collecting diamonds,” she said of her father. “I miss him so much, so having this to focus on and put my energy into has been a blessing. I know he is with me every moment of this sweet venture.”
For more information about Hampton Chocolate Factory, visit hamptonchocolatefactory.com.
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