You might be wondering how the Easter bunny ranks in selling chocolate against cupid at Valentine’s Day and Santa at Christmas.
Robert Strohmayer, store manager of Chocolaterie Stam in Madison, Wisc. can give us a clue. “Valentine’s Day is our biggest single day of the year because men don’t shop early at all. Christmas is our biggest time because people are entertaining. Easter is our biggest season for things that are molded chocolate.”
For chocolate makers, Easter is a time for artistry. This is “because the chocolate bunnies range from 3-30 some inches, explains Strohamayer. “They take the most quality work from our staff. They really enjoy putting them together.”
From the 9 Stam stores in 7 Midwest cities, some 2,000 chocolate bunnies were made by pouring combinations of European white, milk, or dark chocolate in handcrafted molds of all sizes. Stam, still a small family business, has been making fine Dutch chocolates from family recipes since 1913.
The uncounted number of chocolate bunnies and other chocolate treats made year round, comes from 1,148 chocolate and coco manufacturing establishments in the United States, employing 35,538 people, according to the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau.
For chocolate lovers who want to expand their experiences, here are five tips for buying chocolate and another top five reasons to buy at a chocolate shop, according to Strohmayer.
Tips for Buying Chocolate
1. Go everywhere and try every type of chocolate. (sounds reasonable)
2. Don’t limit yourself, try everything. (good advice)
3. For Easter, get a bunny; everyone wants a bunny, no matter what age.
4. “Some chocolate can be rabbit forming!” What is meant by that, is once you get one, they seem to multiple.
5. Keep the tradition alive and buy chocolate from your local or regional chocolaterie.
Top 5 Reasons to Buy at Chocolate Shops
1. Quality and Selection
Chocolate shops and makers have a selection of good quality chocolate from traditional and modern American or European recipes.
2. Traditional Favorites
You’ll find traditional flavors forms from childhood, plus expertly crafted modern creations that keep shoppers coming back for more.
3. Always a Great Gift
It’s a gift that’s always appreciated and can be enjoyed as a shared experience. The extra touch a chocolaterie gives your package shows you care.
4. Addicted to Chocolate
Chocolate addicts just have to get their chocolate fix and need their favorites in the house at all times. Why not oblige?
5. Holiday Shopping
Easter is a big holiday for chocolate consumption. Customers often want to buy smaller packages of chocolates with lots of different flavors and options, or items to tuck in a basket, or bigger bunnies to use as table decorations (and eat).