At Spokandy, preparations begin in February for its gourmet chocolate Easter confections.
“It starts for us right after Valentine’s Day, owner Todd Davis said. “We go from one holiday to the next.”
Spokandy’s milk chocolate customized eggs with five different fillings are a tradition that dates back to the company’s founding in 1913, Davis said.
“Our personalized Easter eggs started in the 1900s and they are still super popular,” Davis said. “They are all handmade. The Easter eggs come in a variety of flavors and we personalize them with peoples’ names. They have been a favorite. It’s always fun to see your name in chocolate.”
Spokandy’s solid chocolate bunnies are another top seller via its website and retail factory store at 1412 W. Third Ave.
“We have a lot of repeat customers that come down for the personalized eggs and chocolate bunnies,” Davis said.
Spokandy makes candy bars and gourmet chocolate covered creams and caramels. Its catalog of items also includes Michelle’s Chocolate Truffles and Helen’s Huckleberry.
It’s too soon to predict what Easter sales will be like this year, but Spokandy has experienced a noticeable uptick in foot traffic, Davis said.
“I think a lot of people are putting the pandemic behind them,” he said. “I think people are spending a little more and wanting to bring back those traditions that were lost during the pandemic. We are seeing some good, strong sales.”
“We are excited to get back to creating great, tasty treats for our customers and giving them what they’ve come to know and expect from us since 1913,” Davis continued.
Consumers are projected to spend an average of $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, according the National Retail Federation.
About 80% of Americans will celebrate the holiday this year and spend a total of $20.8 billion, down slightly from last year’s forecast of $21.6 billion, according to the federation.
“Consumers are eager to return to their pre-pandemic holiday traditions, particularly as it relates to purchasing food and gifts for in-person celebrations this Easter,” Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation president and CEO said in a statement. “Friends and family want to be together, and consumers are willing to spend money to make these events memorable.”
At Halletts Chocolates & Coffee, the process for making Easter bunnies begins with molten chocolate, which is tempered and measured into a 3D mold.
The molds are then chilled and rotated to form an even shell. After the chocolate is cooled, it’s removed from the mold, trimmed and packaged for sale, said co-owner Kitty Kane.
Kane estimates she made more than 100 5-ounce chocolate Easter bunnies as of last week.
Personalized fudge eggs have been popular as well, she added.
Halletts Chocolates, which is locally owned and operated, has been making confections since 1978.
While Kane hasn’t seen a huge increase in people shopping for Easter confections at the chocolate shop at 1419 E. Holyoke Ave., business typically picks up in the days leading up to the holiday, she said.
“I would love for people to give us a try,” she said. “It’s well worth the trip.”