LOGAN – Flowers may be on the top of most Valentine’s Day gifts, but chocolate is not far from most men’s lists and for kids it is probably what they want most.
Alvey’s Chocolate in the Cache Valley Mall is making the most of the holiday. It’s a busy place this time of year, said store manager Eutauana Yocum. She has been watching the increase in business for six years.
“Men will be packed in here like sardines on Valentine’s Day,” said Yocum. “It’s going to get crazy.”
Alvey’s chocolates are locally handmade and not only are they sold in their only retail store, located in the Cache Valley Mall, but also in eight other western states. Some of the chocolates end up being boxed and sold with another name on the box. Recently, Alvey’s Chocolate made a deal with Salt Lake City International Airport and they can be found there, said owner Janette Kelly.
Janette and her husband Brent picked up the business in 2006 from Cless and Shari Alvey. Janete had experience from working at the store before taking over the business.
The chocolate factory is located at 63 E. 300 S. in Richmond. They have a small factory outlet store where seconds are sold. Kelly suggested people call before they drop by.
“I like making chocolates because they make people smile,” Kelly said. “I love the business. I love being creative and I love the people I work with.”
The chocolates are decorated to look as good as they taste. The milk chocolate dipped strawberries were decorated with a thin layer of white chocolate. Each one was made with care and showed great artistry.
Kelly uses the same family recipes Alvey got from her grandmother Winget when they started the operation in 1980. She may have made some slight changes, but mostly the recipes have stayed the same over the years.
“Most of our business is wholesale,” Kelly said. “Our business comes by word of mouth.”
She said they have about 15 employees on the books, but during their busiest time when they are getting ready for Christmas, they have closer to two dozen people making chocolates in the facility.
“Valentine’s is a busy day, our busiest time of the year is Christmas,” she said. “We offer premier chocolate at the best price we can.”
She tries to support local businesses when she needs supplies.
“I buy all of the sugar from local grocery stores and all of the butter and cream comes from local dairies,” Kelly said. “We have about 200 different products.”
With all the healthy lifestyles people are trying to live, Kelly said they decided to make some sugar free chocolates and offer sea salt caramel as well as their regular caramel.
“We are seeing more people buying the dark chocolate candies,” he said
Valentine’s Day is the third busiest holiday behind Christmas and Easter, with Halloween coming in fourth place for chocolate’s $22 billion industry in the United States.