Chocolate Parfait to host sweet celebration

| 09 Jun 2014 | 01:55

This Saturday, a sweet business will celebrate its anniversary at its new location.

For 28 years, The Chocolate Parfait was located in Olde Lafayette Village. As the first business to officially open in the village, it was long considered "the heartbeat of the village," said Tracey Williams who took over ownership when she purchased the business six years ago.

Specializing in handmade confections using fresh, top quality ingredients, the store was popular.

"Unfortunately, the village just seemed to hit rock bottom and everything was in limbo for several years," Williams said. "Businesses started closing or moving and customers were not coming except for when there were events. It was hard to run a business there."

She made the decision to relocate one year ago into an up-and-coming plaza right on Newton-Sparta Road in Andover.

"We are very visible now and new customers stop when they see us passing by," Williams said. "It's been a great year at our new home."

Sweet offerings
"Our chocolate is made with gourmet Belgian chocolate, which has a smooth, creamy, silken texture," Williams said.

The Chocolate Parfait's homemade Belgian chocolates include coconut clusters, Oreos, almond clusters, peanut clusters, cashew clusters, cashew turtles, caramel squares, sea salted caramels, break up, raisin clusters, cranberry clusters, peanut butter cups, Nutella truffles, marshmallow kebabs, pretzel rods, pretzels and non-pareils.

"Along with our handmade creations, we also offer a delicious selection of tempting truffles, a wide assortment of creamy fresh fudge, sensational gelato, refreshing ice cream, imported English chocolates, and a vast selection of old-fashioned hard-to-find candy," Williams said.

The shop's soft center chocolates include raspberry jellies, raspberry creams, vanilla butter creams, orange creams, orange jellies, maple creams, cherry cordials, chocolate truffles, strawberry cheesecake truffles, champagne truffles, raspberry truffles, tiramisu truffles, caramel truffles, hazelnut truffles and marzipan.

Chocolates can be purchased by the piece or packaged in boxes — available in 1/4 lb., 1/2 lb., 1 lb. and 2 lb. sizes.

The Chocolate Parfait also features handcrafted, premium fudge.

"It's so velvety smooth that it is sure to satisfy any taste buds," Williams said.

Fudge flavors include: Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate Walnut, Mint Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Maple, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Raspberry Swirl, Rocky Road, Vanilla and other seasonal flavors.

When it comes to any special occasion, The Chocolate Parfait's novelty chocolates are a unique favor. They can mold chocolate into just about anything including dinosaurs, baseball mitts, footballs, flowers, and even a tractor.

There's also a whole section of old fashioned candy.

"We have lots of nostalgic candy that you'll remember from when you were a child," said Williams.

And then there is the Gelato.
"This is something new we did when we moved," said Williams, "Because no one else is doing it around here."

The shop has eight flavors of Gelato plus 16 flavors of hard ice cream and soft serve varieties, as well. They also offer milk shakes, root beer floats, sundaes, Italian Ice and ice cream cakes.

Anniversary celebration
Saturday, June 14's celebration is a thank you to The Chocolate Parfait's loyal customers, new customers and to let those who think they may have gone out of business know about their new location. The celebration will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., kicking off with an appearance by Miss Princess New Jersey, Ava Levin, who will sign autographs and pose for pictures from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be plenty of chocolate samples and Williams is also hoping to include vendors who will set up outside the store.

"The community of Andover has been so welcoming over the past year," Williams said. As a resident of Andover, herself, she added, "It's a real pleasure to have a business in the same town where you live, and everyone has been so very supportive."