How Sweet It Is:
They said her concept was "radical." She thought differently. After all, the European confectionery tradition had worked for centuries. So when Phyllis Geiger decided to go into the chocolate making business, she went with her intuition. Twenty five years later, Peterbrooke Chocolatier is nearly 30-stores strong and a tough contender in the confectionery world. Success, as they say, is very sweet.
Why it's Different:
Most American candy makers make American candies the American way. Then there is Lady Godiva, long considered the international grande dame of chocolate makers. But the luxe Lady favors European tastes. Peterbrooke mixes things up by adapting European candy making traditions and techniques to the American palette. The approach fills a niche by combining a more rich, luxurious flavor with homegrown favorites.
A perennial best-seller, is Peterbrooke's chocolate-covered popcorn. The company sells every bit of five tons of chocolate-covered popcorn each holiday season. Here's one you won't see anywhere else: Peterbrooke's milk chocolate pizza topped with pecans, cashews, almonds, papaya, pineapple, golden raisins, black raisins, cranberries, blueberries, mango and white chocolate, presented in its own delivery box. Peterbrooke also offers seasonal, special occasion and custom baskets, boxes and chocolate molds for weddings, baby showers and holidays.
"We reflect life through chocolate," Geiger says."
Make a Party of It. :
Making appearances at parties and special affairs all over Northeast Florida is Peterbrooke's warm chocolate fondue fountain. The four-foot tall interactive display comes with an array of dipping items. Choose from Krispy Treats, Peanut Butter Meltaways, French Crème and Marshmallow with Toasted Coconut.
Local Locations. :
Peterbrooke has 12 locations in the Jacksonville area, plus others in St. Augustine, Gainesville, Central Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Not to miss is Peterbrooke's 10,000-square-foot production center at 1470 San Marco Boulevard. Bring the kids and see first-hand how your favorite Peterbrooke treats are made. It's generally open from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, but seasonal hours can vary. Call 1-800-771-0019.
Bet You Didn't Know...:
Ancient Mayans and Aztecs were the first to cultivate and consume chocolate, which began as an undiluted, unsweetened liquor from the fermented cacao beans. The beans were used as currency as early as 1000 A.D. and drinking the chocolate liquor was thought to bring wisdom. Thus, it was reserved only for the elite, namely rulers and priests. Oh, and there's a reason chocolate is given as gifts to lovers. It contains the highest concentration in any food of phenylethylamine, the chemical produced in the brain when a person is in love. So there you have it: to be euphorically happy and wise to boot, eat chocolate.