Almost 40 years ago, Paul Hoffman Sr. had a simple dream fueled by the purchase of a small chocolate shop in Lake Worth: He wanted to have a place for his family to work. As noble a goal as that sounds, Hoffman was also a bit of an experimenter in the kitchen and soon used this platform to invent confections like the "Pecan Caramel Jitterbugs" and the "Snoodle." Spring forward to 2014 and the Hoffman's Chocolates empire has risen to several retail operations throughout South Florida with a factory and headquarters in Greenacres that has become a popular stop for tourists in Palm Beach.
But it is during holiday season that Hoffman's really gets its chocolatier guns out. Known for elaborate displays and award-winning gift baskets, Hoffman's Chocolates will be a holiday fixture for some time, and by embracing the trendy concept of the pop-up this coming season, it'll surely be within the reach of shoppers all the way through to Valentine's Day.
The company recently opened a store on Las Olas and a pop-up at the Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills Mall. The three most recent additions to the pop-up strategy debuted with Hoffman's Chocolates Holiday Kiosks at Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale this past November 1, with two more scheduled for Saturday at Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation and at Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs. The Galleria store, located near the Dillard's store, will operate until the end of the year.
This strategy by the certified kosher dairy company might be a move brainstormed in the boardroom, since the company's expansion dreams a few years ago were put on hold due to the economy, but even if it is jumping onto the pop-up bandwagon, it at least shows a little creativity and moxie from the former mom and pop.
The other two stores will mine regional sweettooths until the chococentric Valentine's Day holiday next year, with the Westfield store outside the food court by the Sunglass Hut and the Coral Square branch by the mall's holiday display. If you can't find them visually, close your eyes and let your nose guide you to their sugary bounties of chocolates, caramels, and assorted confections.
Well, maybe not too hard. Keep your eyes open just a bit, since the pop-ups will differ greatly from the brick-and-mortar stores in that they'll concentrate more on their boxed sweets, gourmet baskets, and corporate gifts.
Still, though, a local confectioner establishing a serious presence during the madness of the holidays is a bit of refreshing, if not dangerously cloying, news.
The Galleria Mall is located at 2414 E. Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Westfield Broward Mall is at 8000 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation. The Coral Square Mall is at 9469 W. Atlantic Blvd., Coral Springs. For hours of operation, call 888-281-8800 or visit hoffmans.com.