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Chocoholics Rejoice

HazelSnooks opens for business, while Kingsbury continues to delight.

If visions of sugarplums dance in children’s heads during the holidays, what visions are in their minds the rest of the year? Homemade chocolates?

In this area, chocoholics now have two ways to satisfy their cravings — at Kingsbury Chocolates which has been located on upper King Street for the past few years and now at HazelSnooks, newly opened on South Alfred Street.

According to Kelly Pullins, who serves as general manager of HazelSnooks, this new store was named for Hazel, the mother of the two owners and their sister (Snooky). Martha Williams and Sarah Pullins are co-owners and brought in Pullins because she used to manage a fudge place in Annapolis, Md. While the store is a little off the beaten track (a block off King Street), Pullins said that they had been looking for a place in Old Town for quite awhile and this was the only place they could find.

They do have the advantage of being across from the Morrison House, and have been specializing in gift baskets, party favors, wedding favors and catering.

“They always wanted to open a business and decided that since I had experience in the candy business that this would be a good one to start,” Pullins said. They opened this past June and have been experimenting with different kinds of delectable goodies. This is a family operation — Pullin’s cousin, Lauren, is a manager. Frances Moreland, an aunt, is helping as well. The owners are using some of their mother’s recipes, while also adding new recipes.

“A lot of stuff is cooked here,” Pullins said. “We have something new everyday.”

Pullins said that they are selling cookies, chocolates, bulk candy, assorted nuts and fudge. Everything is made fresh, except for the fudge, which will also soon be made fresh. So far, the biggest attractions are their chocolate dipped pretzels and their peanut brittle.

KINGSBURY CONTINUES to offer its traditional line of truffles, turtles, popcorn balls, fruit glace, hot chocolate, fruit squares, espresso cups, caramels, crèmes and dipped fruit. This is not just any dipped fruit, but such offerings as Milk Chocolate Maraschino Cherries, Double-Dipped Mediterranean Apricots, Candied Citrus Peel and Seasonal Selections.

The choice of truffles flavors includes Hazelnut Toffee Crunch, Peanut Butter, Toasted Coconut, Mimosa, Raspberry, Midnite, Champagne, French Vanilla Butternut, Butterscotch, Black Forest, Amaretto Marzipan, Mocha, English Toffee, Irish Crème, Citrus Twist, Honey Ginger, Apricot Sour, Lavender Pistachio, Chipolte Cinnamon, Black Russian, Orange Brandy Alexander and Cosmopolitan. They also prepare seasonal flavors.

Owner Robert Kingsbury said that the most popular flavors are Hazelnut Toffee Crunch, Chipolte Cinnamon, Champagne and Lavender Pistachio.

While Kingsbury has been in business since the end of 2002, he only recently started opening the store on Sundays.

“It’s a whole new client base,” he said. “It has helped to get our name out there.”

Like HazelSnooks, visibility is an issue with him. Although it fronts King Street, it is on the second floor and somewhat tucked away. Kingsbury said that he plans to move in two years, when the lease expires. He will stay in Old Town and make his store more of a café, offering an expanded line of drinks, torts and tarts.

In the meantime, more and more people are finding Kingsbury Chocolate. Kingsbury said that they do a lot of business providing platters for local functions. They also are building up their wedding favor business.

“We do a ton of favors, it’s a great business to get into,” Kingsbury said.

Some of the more traditional favors are boxes of truffles or dried fruits, but Kingsbury said that they do many custom orders, such as an Eiffel Tower for a couple who married in Paris, France or dog bones for a couple who loves their dogs.

Kingsbury has been offering homemade ice creams and sorbets during the summer, and plans to sell pints during the winter months.