Before visitors can even take a bite, they’re enveloped by a rich, chocolatey smell that ushers them through the door. This is the sixth Hoffman’s location for the famed-Palm Beach chocolatier, and its first in Broward (with more to come). But Jarett Levan, president of BBX Capital, parent company of Hoffman’s Chocolates, says the smell gets people every time. “We’re known for our quality,” he says, adding that his favorite chocolates include the twice-dipped, dark- chocolate-covered pretzels and the salted caramels.
The chocolate at the Las Olas store is produced at the original Palm Beach factory in Greenacres, and much of it is made by hand. Some of the all-time favorites include the almond butter crunch, the coconut cashew crunch and, of course, the chocolate-covered pretzels. Manager Debbie Goldin, who previously managed the Boca Raton store, says she’s remained with the company for seven years for a reason. “People love to give and get chocolate – there aren’t many businesses like that,” Goldin says. “The chocolate business always makes people happy.”
If visitors are familiar with the Palm Beach and Martin County locations, the Las Olas store might surprise. Robin’s egg blue paint covers the facade of the storefront, and the coloring carries onto the candy packaging. But one thing that remains is the company’s mantra on celebrations. “If you’re coming to Hoffman’s, you’re coming here to celebrate, whether it’s a first date or a soccer team championship,” Levan says. And if you’re looking for chocolate-covered strawberries around a certain holiday, say Valentine’s Day, put your order in now. The store sells nearly 100,000 strawberries on Feb. 13 and 14 alone, Levan says.
The ice cream
As any South Floridian knows, ice cream never goes out of style here. The 926-square-foot store made room for 16 flavors of ice cream, including speciality flavors like the Moose Tracks Stellar Coffee and Calypso Crunch, and seasonal favorites like Peppermint Flash (with crushed candy canes) and Egg Nog. Even in December in Florida, it’s fittingly appropriate to stop in for a scoop.