Chocolations - Handcrafted and Local
By Marina Kiriakou -
Maria Valente, the creator and owner of Chocolations in Mamaroneck, celebrates her thirteenth year of crafting delectable treats in this location, and thirty-seven years total. At her shop on East Boston Post Road, Maria meticulously handcrafts melt-in-the-mouth truffles, bonbons, and specialty molds using all-natural, premium ingredients.
As you step into the store, your eyes are drawn to the display cases beneath two elegant chandeliers. Rows of truffles with smooth ganache centers, bonbons with organic textures, and over 30 varieties of chocolate barks await, each producing a satisfying snap when broken. The display tables are adorned with whimsical molded gift items, perfect for celebrating special occasions.
Maria warmly welcomes visitors, eager to share her passion and knowledge of chocolate. Her innovative creations have gained recognition from renowned sources such as Zagat, The New York Times, and The Today Show.
While summer may not be the preferred season for some chocolate enthusiasts, Maria advises against refrigerating chocolate, as it alters the taste and creates a white film on the surface. However, from late fall through the end of the school year, Chocolations experiences a surge in demand due to the holiday season and various celebrations.
Maria's journey as an entrepreneur has seen her explore different business models, including selling ice cream, hosting kids' parties, and offering coffee, lunch, and baked goods. However, she ultimately recognized her true strength lay in producing and selling high-quality chocolates. This focus on her passion has been rewarding.
In addition to her accomplishments, Maria recently added "author" to her repertoire. Her novel, "All Honest Pilgrims," weaves together stories of six pilgrims who share a deep admiration for Henry David Thoreau and their journeys to Walden Pond.
Maria graciously inscribed a copy of her book for me, encouraging me with the heartfelt message: "I hope this book inspires you to live the life you imagined." When asked if she herself is living the life she envisioned, Maria's face lit up, and she replied, "Yes, with a few unexpected twists along the way, but I can confidently say that I am living the life I truly imagined."
Chocolations is located at 607 East Boston Post Road and operates during the summer season with the following hours: Wednesday to Friday, 12 pm to 5 pm, and Saturday, 9 am to 12 pm.