Hoffmans Chocolate Reviews

Apparently, anyone who visits the Hoffman Chocolates in downtown Lake Worth has a beloved memory of the gourmet chocolatier.

For Nadine Burns, she took her 6-year-old granddaughter to a sweets class last year.

"He loved to play sweets," Burns said. "And she has to put on a cooking apron."

For Christopher Fleming these were all chocolate-covered pretzels.

"I loved the fact that the shop was local and it was all about chocolate," Fleming said.

Sally Welsh could not get enough of the ice.

"It's the best in the world," he said.

These memories are even more special.

After Saturday, Hoffmans Chocolate's at 705 Lake Avenue is closed forever.

The main reason: There are not enough shops.

Hoffmans Chocolate

"We have not really seen much foot traffic," said Anna Hutchinson, the store's middle manager, who opened in 2013. "Our sales have dropped 50 percent in the last four years, I do not think we were fully aware of this place."

Randall Vitale, regional vice president for sales at Hoffman's, could not comment.

The six employees of the Lake Avenue business were offered jobs at other Hoffman locations, Hutchinson said.

The company has four locations in Palm Beach County, the main plant in Greenacres on Lake Worth Road and three other stores in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens and the latest, which opened in November in the marketplace in Delray Beach.

Thomas Miller, a sales representative at the Lake Worth Store, said he was upset to hear the news.

"We saw the writing on the wall," he said. "We thought it was busier for Christmas, but that did not happen, I do not think we have the marketing support the other stores got."

Hutchinson said that one reason for lackluster sales is that snowbirds do not stay as long as they used to.

"Many of them went down in October and came back after Thanksgiving," he said.

To drive the business forward, Hutchinson said Hoffman cut prices and offered Internet and Black Friday deals. Nothing helped.

"In this place, they only knew us because of the ice," Hutchinson said. "But many people did not even know we existed." Many people from Palm Beach came by and asked us, "Are you just open?" "

Fleming, a senior strategic realty service broker whose companies runs several properties in the center, said the area would feel the loss of Hoffman.

"The center needs a mix of business and loss of a local retailer hurts that gets mixed up," Fleming said.

Burns, President of Lake Worth Rotary Club, said she was not sure what the closure of the store would be in the area.

"It's a great place," he said. "I thought it helped the shop (Lilo's All American Cafe) to move to the old Rotelli site."

Last year, Hoffman's, which began on Lucerne Avenue in 1975, celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Hutchinson has been working with the company for the past five years. She said she was sad to see Lake Avenue nearby.

"So many companies have come and gone since we came here," he said.

None, however, as sweet as Hoffman's Chocolates.

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