Everyone loves chocolate.
From stocking stuffers to Valentine's Day presents to sitting alone watching movies on the couch, there's no occasion that won't be enhanced -- or saved -- from a sweet little morsel of chocolate in your mouth.
In terms of gifts, we'd much rather receive a box of confections than almost anything else.
Wilton Manors recently received its newest specialty shop just last month. JP's Chocolate Shoppe offers a wide range of sweet treats in gift and eat yourself form.
Owners JP Cobleigh and Barry Miller opened the doors of the shop on December 14.
Cobleigh, a former New Yorker, and Miller, a former real estate broker met a few years back when Cobleigh was looking for property investments in the area. Looking for a change from their former careers, the pair decided to look into options for retail outlets on Wilton Dr.
"I looked around for ideas, and I thought 'What about chocolate!'," said Miller. "Who doesn't like chocolate? It's the perfect gift for any occasion."
Together Miller and Cobleigh searched around for the best domestic chocolates they could find; after attending the Philadelphia Confectioners Conference in Atlantic City -- we're waiting for out invite -- and tasting hundreds of chocolates, they found what they were looking for.
Truffles, filled with fruit and ganache, and creams, made with pureed fruit turned into a fondant, come from a boutique chocolatier in St. Louis.
Truffles, which range in flavor from red velvet to 70 percent dark and white chocolate to Georgia peach to espresso, are available in organic and sugar free options.
The fudge has been sourced from the Art of Fudge in Pennsylvania. Made with organic cane sugar the fudge loafs contain 30 percent less sugar and the cocoa butter decorated fudge bars have 50 percent less sugar than most products. Both are devoid of trans fat and gluten.
The store caters to a wide range of dietary restrictions with sugar-free, gluten-free, kosher, organic, and vegan options.
It's these sorts of touches that have been garnering the crowds; the place has become a popular spot to pick up gifts.
"Everyone walks in and says, 'This is awesome,'" says Miller. We've had a great reception; in the month that we've been open we've had customers come back more than three times."
While everything in-store has been handpicked by Miller and Cobleigh, they do have their favorites. Miller loves the mango punch, a rich yet refreshing blend of mango chocolate -- it's slightly acidic and not overly sweet. Cobleigh is a big fan of the fudge; his favorites are the peanut butter and the blood orange.
For easy present options, the shop offers wine and truffle packages ranging from around $15 to $40 as well as gift baskets ($30 to $150) and half pound boxes of truffles ($15).
An e-commerce site with shipping options is currently underway.
JP's Chocolate Shoppe is located at 2219 Wilton Dr in Wilton Manors. Call 954-368-5533.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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