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Work Proves Sweet for Mamaroneck Retiree

Anne Balzo makes volunteer work a sweet experience at Chocolations in Mamaroneck, N.Y. The nearly 89-year-old woman retired a couple of years ago, but she doesn’t want to slow down. A resident of Mamaroneck, Balzo walks to Chocolations a couple of days a week to do odds and ends for Maria Valente, owner of the chocolate shop.

“To speak to her is a pleasure. She is quite knowledgeable. She is very creative,” Balzo says, adding that Maria is a dear friend. Balzo loves to talk about the many chocolate delights at the store. “The chocolate is out of this world. I try not to overdo it.”

She says chocolate is only the beginning when it comes to a Chocolations experience. The shop makes every package pretty, and she loves having a hand in that. Balzo spends much of her time cutting ribbons, labeling boxes and more. She says she leaves the sales to the younger girls.

A receptionist for much of her career, Balzo worked mostly in the medical field in her native Bronx and Mamaroneck. She also did filing and office work for the Village Court. Now, Balzo enjoys the creative side of the chocolate business. She says she will go in more often to help deal with the extra orders around the holidays.

Balzo also loves the camaraderie at Chocolations. She is the mother of three grown children and grandmother of five. One of her favorite things to do is talk about her family, especially about where her grandchildren are working and attending college.

She speaks about her Chocolations family the same way. “Maria is a very wonderful boss," she said. "The area is very nice. The store is very well kept. It is lovely the way she has it fixed. Maria is a great lady. I know everything about Maria. She could be my daughter.”

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