Maria Valente makes chocolate an art form in Mamaroneck. Visit her shop Chocolations and you can watch the artist at work as she creates everything from truffles to cupcakes to sea salt caramels right on the premises. We have everything that you could ever want in chocolate, Valente says.
Chocolations is celebrating its first anniversary this month, expanding to its current location to give Valente enough space to hold meetings, parties and events right in the shop. Valente calls chocolate recession-proof. Its not an expensive thing. You can feel like you are giving yourself a nice treat but not blowing the budget.
Valente has been making chocolate creations for a quarter-century and studied at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. She loves the challenge of taking foods not necessarily thought of with chocolate and finding a way to blend them together, such as chocolate linguini. Valente creates a variety of traditional favorites, including her well-known barks, brownies, ice cream with hot fudge and more. Valente also offers delicacies that complement chocolate, such as coffee or quiche to round out the experience.
Now an Eastchester resident, Valente lived in Mamaroneck for about two decades and remains active in the community. She serves as a mentor for the Her Honor program at Mamaroneck High School and provides seniors with internships. Valente, after being encouraged by friends for years to open her own store, took several courses to learn how to open and run a business. She enjoys sharing that knowledge about business and giving her interns a chance to grow.
Valente was originally a lawyer but decided she didnt want to fight for a living. Making sweets was more fun, she says. Pointing to Chocolations as the first chocolate factory in Westchester County, she says, Theres always something new you can do with the chocolate.
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