“There’s no secret recipe,” Ms. Vlahakis mentioned. “It’s physics and chemistry.”
Her oldsters retired to Florham Park, N.J. At 76, her mom died of breast most cancers, and Ms. Vlahakis, then residing in Big apple, moved in along with her father, who persevered to discuss with the shop simply to sit down and go searching. He died at 83 in 2000.
Ms. Vlahakis nonetheless lives in Florham Park, and stories to the Jersey Town kitchen in her smock, which is the colour of milk chocolate, through eight a.m. every workday. She has no plans to retire, and her sister continues to function the Staten Island retailer along with her daughter, Kerry. Employees who began below her father inform Ms. Vlahakis that they are able to nonetheless odor his cigar smoke within the kitchen, the place two copies of his obituary are displayed.
“Find it irresistible’s haunted!” she mentioned.
With the reopening, shoppers outnumber ghosts within the retailer once more, and a chocolate carousel is spinning within the window. To offer protection to herself and her body of workers on the counter, Ms. Vlahakis, who wears a masks and asks that consumers do the similar, put in plexiglass. Handiest 3 buyers can are available in at a time, however a pass phase of the various town parades thru every day. One fresh afternoon, an assistant prosecutor picked up 5 luggage full of packing containers, a vagrant purchased a bar with unfastened trade and a St. Peter’s College scholar requested whether or not she may just use Apple Pay. Ms. Vlahakis does no longer take Apple Pay, however joked that she may just dip an apple in chocolate as an alternative.
Susan Butler was once purchasing for a reunion with highschool buddies. She knowledgeable Ms. Vlahakis that once she was once pregnant along with her daughter, her day by day workout was once strolling a couple of blocks to Lee Sims to pick out up chocolate after which strolling again.
“Oh, when was once that?” Ms. Vlahakis mentioned.
“Smartly, she’s 51 now!” Ms. Butler mentioned.
All the way through the lockdown, Ms. Butler apprehensive that the store could be closed eternally. “It’s a landmark, a work of house,” she mentioned. “Many of the puts we grew up with, just like the bakery, are long gone. It’s recollections to us.”