By Jeremy Wiedle |
An Athens chocolate business opened on Court Street last Tuesday after two years of selling the sweets at farmers markets and other small businesses.
Owner Stacy Peters moved to the Athens area around six years ago and has been making chocolate since 2010.
Peters said she decided to open the shop to make her products more familiar to the public.
“I started making the truffles as gifts and eventually started selling at the farmers market on East State,” said Peters. “After awhile I expanded and started putting the bars and truffles at other locations.” The Athens Village Bakery on East State Street was one of those locations.
O’chocolate offers a variety of products including chocolate bars, truffles, biscotti and chocolate bark.
Peters says what makes her products different from others is that she uses only fair trade ingredients and does her best to buy local when she can.
Many of the ingredients used in the chocolates come from other local companies including Snowville Creamery, Ancient Roots, Sticky Pete’s Maple Syrup, Bella Vino and many others.
Peters pointed out that having a permanent establishment will allow her to produce more product and operate on daily selling schedule.
“Being in a permanent area is nice. [It's] something I am not used to. I don’t have to sell something in four hours like I had to at the market. If what I make doesn’t sell in the same day I still have the opportunity to sell it tomorrow,” Peters said.
O’chocolate products can be found in other cities too. The chocolate bars are now available at Celebrate Local at the Easton Center in Columbus and Hills Market in Downtown Columbus.
Peters, who is originally from Pennsylvania, said Athens is a special area when it comes to local businesses.
“Local business does very well around here and I wanted to take the opportunity at my place to showcase the products of other area businesses,” Peters said. “In the coming weeks I hope to have at least one product from different places in my store so that my customers can see the network of small local businesses in Athens.
While the shop officially opened Tuesday, an opening celebration is planned for February 11. The Chocolate Soiree will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. and guests will be able to try free samples of truffles and chocolate bars.