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Brockport participates in first chocolate walk

by Zachary Wagner - Lifestyles Editor
Wed, Feb 12th 2020 05:00 pm
The chocolate walk attendees picked up their shopping bags (above) at the start of the walk. Along the way they were greeted with many different chocolates and Valentines Day treats inside the different local vendors.
The chocolate walk attendees picked up their shopping bags (above) at the start of the walk. Along the way they were greeted with many different chocolates and Valentines Day treats inside the different local vendors.

During the Valentine’s Day season, many take to the candy aisle to purchase some chocolates for their significant other as a nice gesture to show they love and care for them. This year for the day of love, the Village of Brockport offered a new and exciting way to find the perfect chocolate for that special someone with its first installment of the Brockport Chocolate Walk.

Hosting the event on Saturday, February 8, only six days before Valentine’s Day, the village invited chocolate walkers to enjoy the brisk sunny day walking from business to bussiness trying out some free samples and filling their bags with delicious treats.

The Brockport Merchants Association (BMA), outside vendors and local businesses came together to offer an array of different chocolates with the opportunity to check out all the local shops in the village.

“We have 10 different chocolatiers, bakers and candlemakers and more,” Vice President of the BMA Susan Smith said. “We heard about another area that was doing chocolate walks and I thought it was a great idea, and we were looking for something to do right before Valentine’s Day.”

With only four weeks to plan, Smith and the rest of the BMA gathered all the necessary tools to put on the chocolate walk, advertising the event on Facebook to try and attract people in the area.

“We threw this together really quick; we had four weeks to plan this out and it worked,” Smith said. “I was going to be happy if we sold 70 tickets, but we ended up selling 120.”

Out of all the small businesses in the village, 17 of them participated, including shops like Jimmy Z’s Shakes & Plates, Lift Bridge Book Shop and Perri’s Pizza participated in the walk. Local boutique Lagom, owned by Brooke Albanese, was also one of the 17 hosts to these chocolate vendors.

 Hosting Laughing Gull Chocolates, Albanese saw this event as a good opportunity to get people to walk through her shop that wouldn’t come check it out on a regular basis.

“It’s a great event for downtown Brockport and it brings a number of people through the shop that necessarily wouldn’t have come through the shop before,” Albanese said.

Along with the exposure for the local shops here in Brockport, the walk was a good opportunity for local bakers in the Rochester area to expand their business and get their name out there through this newly established event.

Owner and Baker of Kennie Cakes & Connections Liz Hamilton was set up in the back of the Unique Gift Boutique handing out free samples and showing off her product to the 120 attendees.  

“I just thought it was something fun to get out into the community because my business is a custom only licensed home bakery; I don’t get to be out in the community like if I had a storefront,” Hamilton said.

After getting rid of most of her free samples and receiving good feedback on her product, Hamilton had already decided that she would be back next year. She also came up with the clever idea of ‘kindness cookies,’ donating the money made from those to charity.

“It’s been a lot of fun it really has, it’s nice to see everyone — I do kindness cookies, all the proceeds of the heart cookies go to the Brockport Food Bank and the Hamlin Food Bank, that’s nice that people can just come see the store and pick them up because I’m custom order only,” Hamilton said.

Moving into next year regarding the chocolate walk, Hamilton believes that the age limit of the walk, currently set at 15, should be lowered so more kids and families can enjoy everything to see and taste at this event.

“Maybe drop the age a little bit — you’re supposed to be 15 and up to participate in the ticketed part, “Hamilton said. “I’d say maybe drop it to 10 because I feel like a 5th grader would want to go taste chocolate, I think that would be fun.”

From the smiles on people’s faces and the bags filled with chocolate, it’s easy to make the assumption that the first annual Brockport Chocolate Walk was a success and will make its way into a local tradition.                

 

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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