More than 30 years after Hoffman's Chocolates started in a dinky Lake Worth storefront, the place is now one of the country's premier candy makers. Sure, it's long been a favorite of Palm Beach County sweet tooths. They've flocked to Hoffman's for years, if simply for the coconut cashew crunch, a heavenly sweet and sugary concoction that goes for $6.95 a pound. But now the secret's out. Bon Appetit magazine has named Hoffman's one of the country's best chocolate makers, and the Wall Street Journal has claimed it has the best Easter baskets anywhere. The $75 wicker basketcomes stuffed with toys and candy, including a six-ounce bunny and an eight-ounce fudge egg. Working out of a one-acre headquarters in Greenacres, Hoffman's employees claim the secret is in the chocolate recipe, made from a blend of beans, mostly from Africa, that are specifically roasted for the company. Hoffman's claims to have a cocoa powder and cocoa butter content that rivals any of the big-name candy makers. That's the secret, apparently, to the well-known chocolate-covered strawberries; Hoffman's are cell-phone sized and covered in so much dark, white, and milk chocolate that it pools beneath them. They're available only on Friday for $19.95 a pound. There's talk at the company of expanding outside Palm Beach County, but with five stores and an airport location, you won't need to make a long drive for some of the country's best chocolate.
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