We saw a sign that read Betsy K's Chocolate Factory. Lily wanted to go in, and see if they actually made the chocolate here. Her culinary mind mixed with visions of Willy Wonka, and the hopes that I could somehow be persuaded to buy her chocolate on bill week. The store was amazing, very clean and touched with an aroma that blended with my own imaginations of what heaven must smell like. The proprietor was a lovely woman, with a kind and approachable personality. Lily had whispered to me on the way in that it would be nice to do her volunteer time in a place like this. Who wouldn't, I thought, but does that really count. I mean she wouldn't being pulling babies from burning buildings or feeding the homeless, but the animal shelter had already said she was too young. Probably worried about dog bites and such things that children are no longer aloud to be exposed to due to our ridiculous legal system, and those who abuse it.
The stipulations for volunteer work are that it wasn't done for family benefit. It's not my chocolate factory, and if Lily does a good job then it will benefit the owner. Plus, there is this thing called the American entrepreneur, the person out there taking their talents and ideas and applying them to the old American dream. She is making chocolate, a pretty high calling in itself, and she is making great chocolate, the thing that sets her apart. So I ask her , "would you mind having my daughter as a volunteer in your shop?" Low and behold she agrees, and I get this warm sensation of community. She is running a business and this is no way a part of that, if anything, most would see it as a liability or an inconvenience. I thanked her because it was a very helpful and unexpected kindness. You can't help but gain from an experience like this though. The next generation gets to learn about the small business, and that everything is not play inside the chocolate factory. There is cleaning, picking up, the stress of busy days, and a whole host of other worries and concerns. Thank you for taking time out for my daughter. I hope she will be as willing to teach others when it is in her power to do so.
I have purchased chocolate here twice, and tried a variety of the offerings. The almond toffee bars are amazing! I am a huge fan of toffee, and this was both rich and wonderful. Warning: this chocolate and her toffee will ruin every Heath and Hershey bar you have afterwards. You may buy it because its handy or cheap, but your heart and mind will always drift back to the superior. If you're willing to take that sort of risk or fancy yourself a chocolate connoisseur, then Chocolate factory is located in Longwood, Fl, in the Publix plaza at the corner of 434 and Wekiva Springs road. I highly recommend it, and it is a 10 on the scales every day. I appreciate what this business did for my daughter, but my loyalty is mostly based upon quality, and this is the real deal. Lily and I love dark chocolate, and had the most wonderful representation of this here. Everything is handmade, and the caramels, covered in chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt bare testimony to this. They are divine. I also enjoyed the truffles, chocolate covered pretzels and Drew shared a bite of her white chocolate with me. That was the best white chocolate I have tasted. You can find cheaper chocolate elsewhere, but I get tired of supporting mediocre, and it was in these small brick and mortars where all the big factories started and then got lost some where along the way. So if you want an authentic chocolate experience to gauge your future experiences by, then check it out-you won't regret it.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.