TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – This is getting to be crunch time for holiday shopping this year and local chocolate shops say they’re seeing a big demand.
People have been flocking to Watson’s Chocolates eight retail locations in Western New York, and company reps say online order hit a peak. They say chocolate makes a good gift for just about anyone on your list.
“I think you can’t go wrong with it. I mean how many people have you met that don’t like chocolate?” said Whitney Waston Beecher, president of Watson’s Chocolates.
“We’re seeing a lot of gift baskets fly off the shelves. They seem to go up and down, and this year’s a big year for baskets,” she told News 4. “What we call our pyramids of joy — those are towers of wrapped boxes of different chocolates — those are really hot right now. We can’t keep up with them.”
Watson’s customers look forward to this season all year when they can get their holiday favorites. Beecher says people start calling in September to try to get their hands on the popular Jingle Bell bark.
Raymond Pizaro, a candy maker for Watson’s Chocolates, says the seasonal peppermint bark is one of his favorite candies.
“We’re also making gourmet nut brittle,” he added. “It’s covered in chocolate, drizzled with white chocolate and dark chocolate. We’re also doing a lot of sea salt caramels.”
People love all sorts of candies this time of year, but Watson’s sponge candy is still king.
“Everybody who comes in buys sponge. They might buy other stuff, but they’re not leaving without sponge candy,” Beecher told News 4.
“It goes out five, six, seven pounds at a time,” agreed candy maker Gerry Krayenvenger.
It takes a lot of work to keep up with the demand for the sponge candy, especially. “We have two lines dedicated to making sponge candy and running sponge candy five days a week now, actually six days a week now,” Krayenvenger said.
But Western New Yorkers need their sweets, and for those who have moved away and get gifts of sponge candy in the mail, it’s a welcome taste of home for the holidays.
It is important to note, if you order online at this point in the season, Watson’s can no longer guarantee delivery by Christmas Day, but the workers will do their best.
And, they’ll keep churning out all their best bites, as they get ready now for the busy chocolate holidays ahead. “We’re keeping up great for right now. It’s definitely going to pick up for Valentine’s Day and Easter. Those are definitely chocolate months and seasons,” Pizaro said.
If you’d like to learn more about what Watson’s offers, go to the company’s website: https://watsonschocolates.com/