Sweet on Chocolate’s Sweetest Season Sweet on Chocolate's Sweetest Season

Small businesses expect to make it through the holidays, not a pandemic.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– One of America’s most candy-centric holidays may be over, but Sweet on Chocolate is just beginning their sweetest season.

Located at 208 Walton St, Sweet on Chocolate is one of Syracuse’s few homemade chocolate shops. While most general stores are done stocking up on candy now that Halloween has passed, chocolate stores like Sweet on Chocolate are preparing for their busy season ahead.

“Halloween kicks off the busy season, because there’s Thanksgiving, and then Christmas treats, Valentine’s Day gifts, and then Easter,” owner Adam Mazzoni said.

While the store has been churning out chocolate for nearly 30 years now, it’s only been four years since Mazzoni bought the shop. Although Mazzoni was previously working in food service, he had never worked specifically in a chocolate shop.

“A coworker told me he had an opportunity he thought I really could really do something with, and so I took it,” Mazzoni said.

The shop still sports the same machinery from the prior ownership, but the colorful signage, lights and displays are all new additions to brighten the shop.

“We try and make it fun here,” Mazzoni said. “We want you to be happy when you come in here, and we want you to be even happier when you leave.”

Part of Sweet on Chocolate’s sweetness is in the atmosphere that expands past the chocolate, something full-time employee Gina Brainerd feels especially during this holiday season.

“I do love the business and the community that comes with this holiday season. You get a lot more people in here, you interact with a lot more people, you get to meet a lot more smiling faces, because again, we’re in a chocolate shop!” Brainerd said.

Although Sweet on Chocolate was ready to make it through every season’s demand on chocolate, they never could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Would I be better off if it never happened? Yeah. But we were alright,” Mazzoni said.

The shop was able to stay afloat by posting and selling online to customers, and even shipping out boxes to people who wanted to send chocolate to their loved ones they couldn’t see face-to-face.

Sweet on Chocolate continues to expand its array of sweet treats, and has newly expanded its hours to be open 7 days a week, with hours weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Sundays.

FIONA HURLESS: Halloween may be over, but for this Syracuse chocolate shop, their sweet season is just beginning.

ADAM MAZZONI: It kicks off the holiday season.

HURLESS: Located in armory square, Sweet on Chocolate is just beginning their preparations for the year ahead, work that owner Adam Mazzoni says he takes great pride in.

MAZZONI: You know there’s a bar on every corner, there’s a coffee shop on every corner, but there’s not a chocolate shop on every corner

HURLESS: And especially not a chocolate shop, like this one. For nearly years, sweet on chocolate has been making chocolate desserts from scratch, with new treats for every holiday. But full-time employee Gina Brainerd says it expands past the chocolate.

GINA BRAINERD: I do love the business and the community that comes with this holiday season. You get a lot more people in here, you interact with a. Lot more people, you get to meet a lot more smiling faces, because again, we’re in a chocolate shop!

HURLESS: Sweet on chocolate has made it through every major holiday, but they’ve also made it through some major changes. Since Mazzoni bought the store in 2018, he’s had to deal with running his business during the covid-19 pandemic. But Mazzoni says it hasn’t been all bad.

MAZZONI: The pandemic turned out to be not the worst thing in the world. We started selling online and shipping chocolate all over the country. People started sending people little gifts, like here cheer up. We know you’re stuck at home, and it sucks, but here’s some chocolate! So that was cool.

HURLESS: When it comes to the treats, Mazzoni says he plans to continue to let his creativity flow. For N-C-C news, I’m Fiona Hurless.

Reported by

Fiona Hurless

Fiona Hurless is a student reporter and producer at Syracuse University. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Hurless is a senior Broadcast and Digital Journalism Major in the Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Other stories by Fiona Hurless

Related Articles