Buffalo is losing one of its premier chocolate-makers.
Choco-Logo Confectionary Design, a chocolate shop and factory that has been at 141 Broadway since 2005, will sell its last retail chocolate confections the week following Easter.
Owner Dan Johnson said he tried to prevent this day from coming, but could no longer.
"The big part of it was the cost of doing business," Johnson said. "We just couldn't keep up."
At Choco-Logo's peak, 35 people worked two shifts, producing custom-made chocolates for charities and logo-embossed chocolate gifts for corporations, the most profitable portions of his business, which included the retail shop. Luxury department store clients included Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co. and Bloomingdale's, as well as casinos in Las Vegas and belonging to the Seneca Nation.
Johnson, a trained chef who once owned Lake Champlain Chocolates in Burlington, Vt., sold the building – an 1898 brick Italianate he and wife Stephanie renovated – in December.
Although Johnson won't be selling his nouveau chocolates after this month, he anticipates manufacturing until mid-summer for private-label work. After Easter, the remaining retail chocolate in the store will be sold in a chocolate clearance sale.
Then Johnson hopes to reemerge in another chocolate shop – but only wearing a chocolatier's hat this time.
"I want to be a chocolate maker, and not have to manage a business at the same time," he said.
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