Home-Town Favorites for Valentine’s Day

Posted: January 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Beverly, Danvers, Gloucester, Marblehead, Marketplace, Salem, Sweets and Treats, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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Looking to score extra points on Valentine’s Day? Skip that box of prewrapped chocolates from the drugstore and head to one of these North Shore favorites. You’ll get better quality, more interesting choices, and personalized service—all while supporting your local chocolatier.

Harbor Sweets
If your sweetie likes all things nautical, you cannot go wrong with Sweet Sloops, an addicting confection of toffee, pecans, and white and dark chocolate. There are many other sea-themed chocolates available from the tiny Harbor Sweets factory in Salem, and they can be purchased in almost every North Shore town, including Shubie’s in Marblehead, Henry’s in Beverly, The Partridge Tree Gift Shop in Danvers, Connolly’s Pharmacy in Hamilton, Bruni’s in Ipswich, LuLa’s Pantry in Rockport, and Valentine’s in Newburyport.

85 Leavitt St, Salem
(978) 745-7648
www.harborsweets.com

Pride’s Crossing Confections
This converted train station on Route 127 is the place to go if you need gifts for a variety of tastes. The shop is jam-packed with everything from bags of chocolate covered potato chips and pretzels to cases of fudge, truffles, soft-centers, and white chocolate-covered confections. Don’t miss the famous turtles (seven varieties) and buttercrunches, all hand-made on premises.

590 Hale St, Prides Crossing
(978) 927-2185
www.pridescrossingconfections.com

Stowaway Sweets
It doesn’t get much more charming than this tucked-away shop in a former mansion, where the chocolates are extremely high quality and you can select each piece that goes in the box. Do not, under any circumstances, skip the meltaways.

154 Atlantic Ave, Marblehead
(781) 631-0303
www.stowawaysweets.com

The Cocoa Belt
This elegant shop is a new favorite, both for its selection of delicious truffles in sophisticated flavors like black forest, cappuccino, and champagne and its ability to improve on perennial favorites like peanut butter cups and scotch kisses.

58 Maple St, Danvers
(978) 774-4332
www.thecocoabelt.com

Turtle Alley
Known for its luscious turtles, this local maker also stocks an impressive supply of fruit slices, caramels, and fudge. We are especially fond of the kicked-up versions, including spicy peanut butter cups and almond chipotle turtles.

91a Washington St, Gloucester
(978) 281-4000
Museum Place Mall, Salem
(781) 740-0660
www.turtlealley.com

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’Tis the Season

Posted: December 3rd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Marblehead, Stowaway Sweets, Sweets and Treats | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

“As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.”   -Sandra Boynton

With the holidays upon us, we have an excuse to talk about one of our favorite things—chocolate. And while they may not be an avant garde artisan shop, there is something about the experience of walking into Stowaway Sweets in Marblehead that remains incomparable.

A trip to Stowaway Sweets is literally like walking into the past; the store has been in operation since 1929, and little has changed since then. You push open the garden gate under the old wooden sign, walk down the winding path past the goldfish pond, and enter through the heavy wooden door into a feast for the senses.

The aroma of freshly made chocolate is intoxicating, pretty wrought-iron and glass cases hold a mouthwatering selection of treats, and vintage light fixtures and framed letters adorn the walls. The letters are proof of pedigree: these chocolates were favorites of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and even Queen Mary. (Being film fans, our favorite story is that Katharine Hepburn used to order them as gifts for friends every Christmas)

The candies themselves are still hand-dipped on premises using high quality rich, smooth chocolate and fresh nuts, and the variety is stunning. The crisp chocolate bark, the excellent caramels and the gorgeous truffles all vie for our attention, but the star of the show is the famous meltaway. Some argue over whether the milk or dark variety is favored, but biting into that firm chocolate with a light dusting of sugar into the creamy, melt-in-your mouth center makes trying both on a regular basis essential, if only to keep the debate alive. The chocolate dipped nuts are also exceptional, and the flowered mints make very pretty hostess gifts or special occasion favors.

For chocolates of this caliber, Stowaway’s treats are reasonably priced at $22 per pound. Best of all, you can hand select each chocolate going into the box (several sizes available). Imagine a box with just your favorites, whether it’s dark chocolate or creamy centers. Gift wrapping is available at no extra cost. (Be aware that pre-boxed candies are all that’s available between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, due to high volume.)

Shopping at Stowaway feeds not only your inner chocolate demon but also your craving for long-gone days of quality goods proudly sold by those who created them.

Stowaway Sweets
151 Atlantic Avenue, Marblehead
(800)432-0304
http://www.stowawaysweetsbandb.com

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