New England nautical meets one-of-a-kind, hand dipped chocolate confections with Salem, Massachusetts based company, Harbor Sweets, founded by Ben Strohecker in 1973 in his Marblehead, MA home. The chocolate is handcrafted using original chocolate making techniques that include cooper melting kettles and wooden paddles. The staff hand mold, fill, wrap, and pack all the chocolates. Equestrian Phyllis LeBlanc is the Owner and CEO of Harbor Sweets who was once a part-time employee at Harbor Sweets. She contributed enormously to the company’s growth, and helped to create their line of Dark Horse Chocolates, inspired by the magic of the partnership between horse and rider that is hand-crafted in small batches including almond buttercrunch toffee, buttery caramel and peppermint crunch, covered with rich dark or smooth milk chocolate..
I was able to try a delightful assortment of handmade chocolates, including the Salt & Ayre 16 piece assortment, Peppermint Truffles (exclusive for the holidays), a golden 24 piece box their famous, individually wrapped Sweet Sloops, and a seaside-inspired Christmas Lighthouse Box.
In 2013, Harbor Sweets celebrated 40 years of chocolate making and launched its contemporary truffle line, Salt & Ayre, and instantly received rave reviews. Salt & Ayre was created with eminent cookbook author Lora Brody, featuring a collection of truffles, and salted chocolates. The assortment includes two Chai Truffles dusted with cinnamon, an Espresso Truffle decorated with a chocolate coffee bean, and a Crystalized Ginger topped with a Thai ginger sea salt. My favorite was the Caramel garnished with Himalayan pink sea salt.
What a way to dive into some holiday “merri-mint!” The Peppermint Truffles are created with premium 70% cacao dark chocolate and decadent ganache flavored with a hint of peppermint oil. Each truffle is finished with a cap of creamy white or rich dark chocolate, and garnished with crushed peppermints. They are available in two box sizes: 9 piece/$16, and 16 piece/$24.
The Christmas Lighthouse Box ($29.95) evokes a classic New England coastline style that contains a selection of 24 iconic Sweet Sloops: sailboat-shaped almond buttercrunch toffee with a jib of white chocolate floating in dark chocolate with pecan washing its sides. To create the mast, a silver teaspoon is run by hand from the base of each white chocolate triangle to its apex.
Each Sweet Sloop was beautifully layered with sweet expertly crafted chocolate that envelopes that toffee crunch. My tastebuds were sailing away on waves of bliss! These delectable treats are quite popular as over two million are handcrafted each year and sold online, at retailers in more than twenty states nationwide, and at their shop!
Their most popular chocolates are the boxed Classics with original nautical designs of sand dollars, seashells, pineapples, tall ships, and and their Sweet Sloops.
I also wanted to share a very special treat for you if you happen to be in or around Salem, MA the first weekend in December. On Thursday, December 3rd, and Friday, December 4th from 8:30am-5pm and on Saturday, December 5th from 9am-5pm and Sunday, December 6th from 12pm-5pm, stop by the shop at 85 Leavitt St sampling Harbor Sweets Chocolates, including their new Peppermint Truffles, while you Christmas shop. You’ll receive a 10% discount on purchases over $100 (including mail orders) made during their 2015 holiday Open House!
I wish Harbor Sweets had a retailer close to the Hamptons. I know I would be in their frequently looking for gifts for friends and family, especially during the holidays!
http://www.harborsweets.com // (978) 745-7648