We also have chocolate-covered potato chips and pretzels. If you want a little cluster, chances are we’ll have it here.
But if you want something off the wall, we have that, too.
“And, I’ve taught her, connections matter.” Hess said, “Everybody’s been wonderful to me.” She recently took some time off to give a tour and chat about her businesses.
I have a two-inch medallion of Niagara Falls; a (daredevil) barrel; I have edible photos; and cherry-almond biscotti.
The heart-breakers are probably our biggest seller – they’re pretzels, caramel, buttercrunch and chocolate.
NIAGARA FALLS – Mary Ann Hess scrolls through the photos on her phone, calling out an endless stream of names of famous people she’s met and exciting places she’s been in recent years.
And her delicious handcrafted chocolates, known as Niagara’s Honeymoon Sweets, are the reason.“We’ve been to and provided chocolates to the Oscars, twice; the Emmys; the Golden Globes; and the 2014 private tailgate party for the Super Bowl in New Jersey,” she said.
“We also sent our chocolates to the Kentucky Derby and several Miss USA state pageants.“And we represented Western New York and handed out 690 of our chocolate Niagara Falls medallions for the New York State Society Women’s Inaugural Gala for President Obama in Washington, and we’re going to do the next inauguration, too,” she added.Hess started Niagara’s Honeymoon Sweets in the basement of her Niagara Falls home a decade ago, when her 4-year-old grandson was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and the family needed to supplement its income to cover some medical costs, she recalled.Friends and family encouraged her to sell candy, something she had been making as gifts for years, and the idea took off.Now she has state and federal certification as a “woman-owned business.”She moved into a shop at 5540 Porter Road, Niagara Falls, (the former Certo Bros. Entrance into an elegant foyer with deep red accents leads customers either into Hess’sfirst-floor Shop Hair Studio – because she’s also a full-time hairdresser – or upstairs to a room with her eclectic candy displays.Next on her agenda – or rather handyman Doug’s agenda (her husband of 38 years) – is the creation of a chocolate “factory” on the first floor, when she can move the candy-making operations from her home.Altogether, she leases 3,000 square feet.“This is the best chocolate in town,” exclaimed Niagara Falls City Councilman Ken Tompkins, a friend of Hess. She’s somebody who really cares about the city.”Friends Jennifer Vitagliano and her sister, Jackie Lennert, help Hess out at special events, offering samples of her handiwork.“Customers love the chocolates and they love her,” Vitagliano said.