It’s no secret I’m a chocoholic. I really can’t remember a time when chocolate wasn’t my go-to dessert. It used to make my dad, Bud, so mad. I remember one time being at an ice cream stand and him asking me what I wanted. I said, “Do they have chocolate?” He said, “There’s more flavors than just chocolate, Wendi!” While that may be true, in my head I was thinking, “Why?” So when we were in Pennsylvania and my Aunt Kim said that there was an artisan chocolatier in the nearby town of Waynesboro, I was like, “Let’s go!” Kim had said that they had provided chocolate for the Academy Awards and the Emmy’s. That made me really interested to see the place.
Zoe’s Chocolate Co is located in a shop in downtown Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. When we got there, it was almost closing time. This was perfect, because we had the chance to speak with Dina, a friend of Zoe’s who also helps her out in the store. Dina gave us tons of information about the chocolate, the company, the award shows and the appearance they will be making on CNBC’s The Profit, American Reality TV Show. (The exact air date of their show hasn’t been announced, but the show itself begins June 6 at 10 p.m.)
Zoe’s is a family business in its third generation. The owners are Zoe and her two brothers, Pantelis and Petros Tsoukatos. Their father, George, is the chocolatier. Their website states that their great aunt and uncle came from Greece and sold chocolates from a pushcart. Fine chocolates have been part of their lives since they were children. But as their website states, Zoe’s is “where time-honored tradition meets modern sophistication.”
I have a friend who says that when she goes into some places, they just make her feel “happy” because of the ambiance. I have to say, that is sort of what it felt when I walked into Zoe’s. It had been a pretty good day, but then in the middle we had gotten some upsetting news that brought our mood down. However, when I walked into the modern sophisticated space of Zoe’s Chocolate, for just a few minutes, I was lifted up. Dina explained to us that the name Zoe means “Joy” in Greek. I think that is a perfect name for a chocolate company! It seemed to work for me and, well, the smell of chocolate might have helped, too!
The chocolates are truly sophisticated. Their display case was filled with chocolates with names like Aegean Pistachio, Sesame Tahini Crunch, Persephone’s Pomegranate and Dionysus Baklava. There was also a seasonal Cherry Blossom that included a caramel that was infused with cherry flavoring. They had samples of their butter toffee to try. It was a rich dark chocolate on top of a vanilla butter toffee.
In the end, I purchased a solid Easter bunny made of milk chocolate. You never find solid chocolate bunnies anymore, plus, when it comes right down to it, sometimes I just want chocolate without all the other stuff in it. Zoe’s specializes in dark chocolate and had some dark chocolate bunnies, but I truly enjoy milk chocolate more. (I know. I know. There are more health benefits from dark chocolate than milk, but then I never really eat chocolate for the health benefits!) We also got a four pack of the Cherry Blossoms for Bobby. Probably because we were kind of down, we didn’t buy as much as we normally would have.
I think I would like to go back to Waynesboro sometime. The town looked interesting to explore and now I have ties to it, thanks to Zoe’s. It will be good to visit the artisan chocolate company again. Maybe I’ll branch out and pick up something made with flavors in addition to their chocolate. It could happen!