"Sweet Mary's" Chocolate Lovers, can we hear you?

This year Mary and I decided we wanted to come up with something a little more exciting than just a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day.  So we came up with all these gorgeous SPECIALS and decided to network with other local businesses to help make our specials a little more, uh, special!  Last week we had the pleasure of visiting the kitchen of Sweet Mary's Chocolates in Pilesgrove, NJ.  Joe and Mary Crevino were so "sweet" and we were in awe of their chocolate making kitchen where they make all of their handmade candies.  It was like heaven for Mary and I...being surrounded by all that chocolate (they even gave us samples!). Mary showed us the many options (soooo many) for the types of chocolates and the decorative boxes they go in. Then we got to watch Joe as he tempered the chocolate and filled the molds. This will be their 10th Valentine's Day in business and something tells me they love every minute of it. It was an amazing experience and we are so excited that we are offering one of their gorgeous boxes of chocolates with our flowers this Valentine's Day.  Here are a few pictures we caught...get ready to drool!

This is the box of chocolates that we will have available to be ordered for Valentine's Day - isn't it pretty!?!?

It holds 9 large HANDMADE chocolates...mostly milk and dark chocolate truffles, a few caramels and a peanut butter piece.

This is the machine that is used to temper the chocolate.  Sweet Mary's blends all their own chocolate to come up with the perfect combination.

Joe invented this, it is a funnel that sits over a heat lamp so that it stays at the perfect temperature.  Then tempered chocolate is then added and this is used to put the chocolate into the molds. I always wondered how the fillings were put inside, thankfully Joe has now given me some peace of mind. The warmer molds are filled, shaken (to remove bubbles) and then placed in the mold warmer (picture below) for a minute or two. After slightly cooled, the molds are dumped, leaving a chocolate shell. After hardened, the shell is filled with some kind of delicious filling, then covered with another layer of heavenly chocolate. ALL done by hand!

Here are the molds in another invention of Joe's....kind of like a warming drawer of sorts.  They had hundreds of these molds, it was an amazing sight.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles....yum.  This is one of the chocolates featured in the box that we are selling with our flowers.

I loved these ones with their logo printed on them...it is amazing what they can do.

Mini chocolate wedding cakes!!!  PERFECT for a bridal shower or even a wedding favor!

I don't remember what these where...but they looked delicious.

A chocolate rose...gorgeous and delicious.

They even make candy bars...milk or dark chocolate.  You could use these as a favor too and get your name and wedding date printed on the wrapper.

They had so many cute boxes to put the candy in.  This pink polka dot box would be adorable for a baby shower.

This pretty little box can be printed with the couples names and wedding date...in whatever color coordinates with their wedding.

Sweet Mary herself holding the classic gold box of chocolates. You know you want some...

Those little chocolate wedding cakes would look gorgeous in this clear box.

This fancy red box looks like an actual gift!

I had to end with this sign hanging in their kitchen....I couldn't agree more!

 Thank you Joe and Mary for giving us such a fun tour of your kitchen.  We love networking with local businesses and learning how they got where they are today.  It is inspiring to us to see all these small businesses thriving...that is our dream for A Garden Party.  We are working on a flier and order form that will have all the info on ordering flowers, chocolates, wine from Auburn Road Vineyards, and Salon Nicole gift cards....stay tuned :)

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