Candy Apple Shoppe offers delectable apples and confections

| 12 Aug 2014 | 04:11

There's a little candy shoppe on Route 517, in Glenwood, that sells its candy apples across the United States as favors for all kinds of events.

The apples must be perfect Granny Smith, and all orders are made fresh and either hand delivered or shipped express service. The apples have found their way into some of New York City's most exclusive clubs and have also served as annual teacher gifts at a school in Maryland.

Since its inception, in 2005, the little candy shoppe has morphed to carry all kinds of chocolate and candy confections including their coveted chocolate high-heeled shoes. These are all the creations of Lauren Brophy and Leigh Petroski at Sweet Treats Candy Apple Shoppe located on the property of The Apple Valley Inn.

The Inn then the Apples
Brophy and Petroski knew they wanted to open a bed a breakfast. The problem was, “where” and the problem behind where was “what” because when it came to specifications, they have some strict criteria.

“We wanted a place that had all the country charm and appeal of a bed and breakfast but not one that was overdecorated," said Brophy. "We wanted people to feel at home.”

They visited a number of B&Bs and scoured the internet in search of the perfect place, but after perusing more than 100, nothing fit the bill. That is, until March 2003 when they drove up to The Apple Valley Inn and it was, they said, “love at first sight.”

“There was three feet of snow on the ground, and as we pulled up we knew this was it,” Brophy said.

Though the inn needed a lot of tender, love and care, the porches, grandeur and presence made the inn unique. There was also a building on the property that had been a distillery which had potential to become something neat someday.

The women closed on the property the next month, on April 15, 2003, and began renovations on the home that was built in 1831. Soon after the reopening of The Apple Valley Inn Bed and Breakfast, they started building a loyal customer base attracting guests not just from all over the area, but all over the globe.

All the while, each also retained her other job, Petroski as a controller in Bergen County, and Brophy as a regulator on Wall Street in Manhattan.

Gourmet Apples
The owners pondered over what to do with the former distillery located next to the main house. Brophy and Petroski had an the idea to teach themselves to make chocolate covered apples and see where a gourmet apple business may lead.

“We figured that certainly, the location on Route 517 would make such a store visible to passers by,” Brophy said.

They never imagined how it would take off.

Sweet Treats Candy Apple Shoppe opened on April 23, 2005 and offered a hand full of selections of chocolate covered apples.

“We were specific about using the best Granny Smith Apples we could find right from the beginning,” Brophy said, and they've stuck to their guns with this philosophy bringing in apples from all over depending where they are the freshest.

In nine years, the shoppe now boasts more than 45 varieties of gourmet apples, nearly as many varieties of covered pretzels. There are truffles galore and all sorts of chocolates. Chocolate lollypops include those shaped like peace signs, butterflies, big feet and little feet for baby showers, just to name a few. Flower-shaped lollies are being prepared for a wedding out in Hawaii while a father recently ordered a high heeled chocolate Cinderella shoe to present to his daughter on her wedding day.

Sugar free chocolates are available, and the shoppe's new edition of pecan caramel paws (plus other varieties) has been an instant hit. Come Christmas, Candy Apple Shoppe will have its annual large, chocolate Santas and at Easter time, its big chocolate bunnies are all the rage. Brophy and Petroski do everything themselves with the help of — customer turned friend turned employee — Lori Bevacqua and other faithful helpers.

“It's been a learning process sometimes and trial and error sometimes,” Brophy said, “But over the years, we've learned from our mistakes and turned them around into successes.”

Due to the shop's success coupled with that of the Inn, Brophy recently gave notice at her job on Wall Street to be on the property full time.

“We love what we do,” she said. “We're a tiny shop but we sure pack a punch.”