Holsten’s prepares chocolates for the holidays

Photo by Daniel Jackovino
Ron Stark, left, and Chris Carley, owners of Holsten’s on Broad Street, will sell roughly 2 tons of chocolate candies now through Easter.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Although Easter is bigger than Valentine’s Day in the world of chocolate-candy demands, at Holsten’s Confectionary in Bloomfield, the store makes about 4,000 pounds of chocolate candies to sell from Valentine’s Day to Easter. And, according to co-owners Ron Stark and Chris Carley, at Christmastime, they make 1,500 pounds of candy.

But Valentine’s Day demands have a character all their own. For one thing, Holsten’s does not ship much Valentine’s Day candy, unlike Christmas when it ships a lot. Also for Valentine’s Day, Carley said it is mostly between adults — a man giving chocolates to a woman. And not much planning goes into it.
“Valentine’s Day sales are very last minute,” he said. “It’s men. You don’t do anything ahead of time.”

There are also more corporate sales at Christmas. And grown ups are remembered at Easter and will receive their favorite chocolates.

“Your kids are always your kids,” Stark said. “They still send the Holsten’s bunny for Easter.”

At Holsten’s there are special chocolate molds for Valentine’s Day. There is a bear, a cat and a Scotty dog. Three kinds of chocolate are always available at the store.

There is the most popular, milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is a little bitter and may not be preferred by kids. And then there is white chocolate.
Stark said there are two main parts to chocolate. They are the chocolate liquor and the cocoa butter. For white chocolate, the liquor is removed and replaced with vanilla. And, of course, milk and sugar is added.