Niagara Falls chocolatier bringing a piece of WNY to an inaugural event

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Now that Donald Trump has been elected as America’s 45th president, he will be sworn in in January.

A chocolatier from Niagara Falls is going to bring a piece of Western New York to an inaugural event.

Mary Ann Hess says this all started after she got a surprising phone call four years ago. “I never knew any of these people and they found me in my basement. I got a phone call from Beverly Fray from the New York State Society of Washington D.C. and I hung up on her.”

Hess, the owner of Niagara’s Honeymoon Sweets, was asked to be part of an inaugural event.

Hess was in disbelief. “Then she called me a second time and I hung up on her. And she (Fray) says, ‘Why are you hanging up on me?’ I said, ‘Don’t they make chocolate in Washington?’

Once Hess realized it wasn’t a joke, she accepted the offer and displayed chocolate at a 2012 inaugural event.

“I ended up going to Washington D.C. and I did a table. I was at the Fairmont hotel.”

Then in September, Hess was called once again. She will be a vendor representing Western New York during an inaugural ball the night before the swearing-in ceremony.

It’s put on by the New York Society of Washington, D.C.

“I said, ‘You didn’t have enough of me the last time? They said, ‘No, we want you here.’

Hess replied, “I’m honored.”

Hess has a day job as a hair stylist, therefore she will create thousands of dollars in chocolate on nights and weekends.

She plans on making roughly one thousand medallions, a display of chocolate, and up to 25 frames of people who will be attending the ball.

As for the decoration, that’s still being sorted out.

“You have to go in neutral. There’s no Democrat or Republican. When you get asked to do it, you go neutral. You’re going to represent your area. You’re not going to criticize or represent who wins or loses. So I’m going to be using some photos this time.”

Hess plans on showing artifacts of Buffalo like Canalside and Downtown; as well as different treasures from Niagara Falls and other cities in western New York.

She wants to show people from around the world what this region has to offer.

Hess also plans on using work from local photographers.

She’s having a contest to see which local picture she’ll display on the chocolate. For information about how to apply and the application fee, you can email: or call 716-304-6803. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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