Is there any food more loved across the world than chocolate? Well, now there’s a library dedicated to it. And, yes, there’s a gift shop. In fact, one could argue the whole thing is one big chocolate-dipped gift shop.
In case you’re wondering…no, you don’t need a library card to check out the chocolate.
Opened just in time for the holiday season, The Chocolate Library is located in New York City’s East Village. Featuring hard-to-find artisanal confections from chocolatiers across the United States, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy and other countries renowned for chocolate-making, The Chocolate Library is a one-stop shop for chocolate lovers looking for a stellar selection of their favorite sweets.
Organized by country and brand, The Chocolate Library offers an array of holiday gift options, including gorgeous gift boxes from Belgium’s Neuhaus, Sweden’s Fika, California’s Jer’s, Florida’s William Dean Chocolates and New York’s own Payard and Xocolatti. Beautifully-wrapped stocking stuffer options include gift bags from Luxembourg’s Genaveh, Long Island-based label Gotta Eat Sweet’s truffle & brownie Truffipops and France’s Aux Anysetiers du Roy fondues. A 10% discount is available to corporate clients through the end of the year.
The Chocolate Library offers chocolate selections suitable for special diets. Ecuador’s delectable Pacari bars are certified Kosher Parve and come in imaginative flavors like Andean blueberry, lemongrass, salt & cacao nibs and a fabulous 100% raw bar. France’s high quality Guy Roux chocolates are sugar-free and New York’s Dina’s Organic Chocolates are gluten-free, while local chocolatier Gnosis makes handmade raw vegan chocolate bars in flavors like pomegranate acai and aphrodisia.
The Chocolate Library owners Byron Bennett and Sharon Torregrossa currently carries 36 brands from 10 countries, with plans to add another 70 gourmet brands from across South and North America and Europe to shelves by Valentine’s Day. The Chocolate Library will soon include a touch screen information kiosk, where customers can learn more about their chocolate’s cacao contents, ingredient sourcing and tasting notes. In addition, The Chocolate Library plans to install a mix-and-match table, where customers can create boxes of sinfully sublime sweets of their own choosing. A full slate of in-store events including chocolate tastings and wine pairings will begin later this winter. Bennett, a long-time East Village resident and a founding partner of the neighborhood’s destination wine shop, Discovery Wines, is also looking to expand The Chocolate Library to other locations.
“We’ve only been open for two weeks and are already amazed by the reception. Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food. It’s something people turn to when times are good or bad,” said Bennett, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “We’re happy to be the purveyors of a product that brings joy to people’s lives every day.”
The Chocolate Library is currently registered as Chocolate 101, Inc., while Bennett appeals a ruling from the New York State Department of Education’s Division of Library Development about the use of the word “library” in his store’s name. Due to a clause in New York Education Law 216, use of the word “library” is now regulated.
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