Sweet tooth? Hit up Victorian CHocolate Co.

Sweet tooth? Hit up Victorian CHocolate Co.

  • 1
Sweet tooth? Hit up Victorian CHocolate Co.
Kelly Reetz, co-proprietor of the Victorian Chocolate Company, shows a batch of mixed-nut brittle in the copper kettle he uses to make the confection.(RACHEL BECK/Lebanon Express)

Traditional colors associated with Christmas are red and green, maybe accompanied by silver and gold.

In Lebanon, however, the holidays look good in purple.

The Victorian Chocolate Company, located in the purple building just east of Ralston Park, offers a variety of delectable treats, from truffles to creams.

The best part?

"Everything is handmade," said Kelly Reetz, who, with his wife Kyla Hague, owns the business. Reetz is

the one responsible for crafting the candies.

For the holidays, Victorian Chocolate Co. offers tempting stocking stuffers like chocolate Santas, cranberry caramels and handmade marshmallows.

Mixed-nut brittle, which includes cashews and Brazil nuts, is a house specialty. Reetz said a cashew/almond brittle is popular with customers.

"And of course, good old fashioned peanut brittle," he added.

The brittle is exceptional because it is made open-fire style, in a copper kettle over a hot flame. It's then poured out onto a special heated table that allows him to pull and stretch the candy until it's very thin - and brittle.

"Most candy companies don't have that capability," Reetz said.

Victorian Chocolate Co. also offers fudge, even "adult fudge" flavors that are a little exotic.

"The gingerbread spice and the mocha spice (fudge) are really nice with a cup of coffee," Reetz said.

Divinity is another holiday favorite with customers.

"Divinity can be a pain to make at home," Reetz said. "It can be a little obstinate sometimes."

He admits the confection has given even him trouble in the past.

The only things in the shop that aren't produced on-site are some dried fruit and a selection of sugar-free chocolate.

The shop has two new flavors of truffles, black currant brandy and rum raspberry. Reetz's recipes come from a combination of books and his own experimentation. He has a collection of candy-making books, from old tomes of 1913 to modern volumes.

"I'm always looking at those," he said. "I'll read something and it'll give me inspiration to think about something else."

Reetz got started in the trade in the mid-80s. "I took some lessons from an old candy-maker and we ended up buying a chocolate shop out of Portland," he said.

The couple had a shop in the Lebanon Plaza from 1983-88, then moved to the current location. But they didn't sell their wares retail until three years ago this month. They were selling wholesale to stores in Eugene and Portland and doing corporate gift baskets for places in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

The store's emphasis on handcrafted treats distinguishes it from other sweet shops.

"Most candy stores you go into, you're going to find your gummy bears and all that kind of stuff," he said.

But Victorian Chocolate Co. decided to focus on chocolate.

It's a good thing, too, at least for mid-Valley residents.

"As far as I know, I'm the only confectioner/chocolatier in Linn County," Reetz said.

But his wares have gone global.

"I've had chocolate go to Germany, Japan, Australia," he said.

It's easy to send the company's goodies as gifts.The store ships and everything is packaged in the store's signature purple and gold boxes.

Recently he shipped some chocolates to the Midwest for new Lebanon residents who wanted gifts from their new home.

The store also makes it easy for shoppers to find what they need, based on their wallet or their taste buds.

From a $4 sampler to a 5-pound basket of goodies, there is sure to be a dollar - and sugar - mark to please.

"I try to hit all the price points," Reetz said. "I want to put out a good product at a fair price and have people enjoy it."

Buyers can hand-pick the chocolates for their assortment, preventing the recipient from ending up with a box of half-eaten chocolates.

"It's nice the customer has the chance to get involved with what they want or what the gift is going to be," Reetz said.

Clients seem to appreciate the service and, of course, the chocolate. He's had people stop in just to tell him how well the sweets were received by loved ones far away.

"And it always makes you feel good when somebody appreciates your work,"he said.

The Victorian Chocolate Company is located east of Ralston Park at 959 Grove St.. Hours are 12:30-5:30 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday. Starting Dec. 15, the store will have extended holiday hours. Call 401-3765 for exact hours.

0
0
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Escalating U.S. tariffs on imports from Italy threaten to unravel the intricate trade networks that make Italian American cuisine possible, and could slash transport, retail, and restaurant jobs across the United States, food purveyors are warning. "Every dollar the tariffs go up" pushes more U.S. stores and consumers towards "fake prosciutto and fake Parmesan" from other countries as a cheap ...

The coronavirus didn't stop Wall Street from rallying to new records last week. And the pandemic had an unintended effect - driving down borrowing costs for corporate America while lowering Treasury bond yields for investors. "Fearful investors are driving down long-term rates, such as the 10-year Treasury," said Dev Kantesaria, managing partner of Valley Forge Capital, a $615 million ...

MoneyTips


By Andrea Woroch

Every year, countless people throughout the country dream up personal finance-related New Year's Resolutions. Most of the goals are centered around saving more money, whether it's by earning more or spending less. Some folks have trips they want to take or projects they need to cross off their to-do list, while others just want the security of bolstering their savings accounts. Regardless of the goal, most people fail because they overlook the most critical step in achieving their objective - a well thought out plan. Below are seven detailed adjustments that will actually help you reach your financial target and lead a more financially responsible 2020.

1. Track your spending.

It's easy to blow your budget when you have no idea where your money is going. Tracking how you spend allows you to identify where you need to cut back — hello, Target! — which makes it easier to limit unnecessary purchases. Remember, you can't change what y...

8 Ways At-Home Entrepreneurs Can Supplement Their Income

Combat Thermostat Ignorance and Save

Say "No" to Save Dough

  • Updated

NEW YORK - The federal judge who blessed T-Mobile US Inc.'s merger with Sprint Corp. said a group of state attorneys general didn't persuade him that the $26.5 billion deal would have disastrous consequences for competition in the U.S. wireless industry. In a decision made public on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan rejected key arguments from the states: that the ...

  • Updated

MoneyTips


By Andrea Woroch

Every year, countless people throughout the country dream up personal finance-related New Year's Resolutions. Most of the goals are centered around saving more money, whether it's by earning more or spending less. Some folks have trips they want to take or projects they need to cross off their to-do list, while others just want the security of bolstering their savings accounts. Regardless of the goal, most people fail because they overlook the most critical step in achieving their objective - a well thought out plan. Below are seven detailed adjustments that will actually help you reach your financial target and lead a more financially responsible 2020.

1. Track your spending.

It's easy to blow your budget when you have no idea where your money is going. Tracking how you spend allows you to identify where you need to cut back — hello, Target! — which makes it easier to limit unnecessary purchases. Remember, you can't change what y...

8 Ways At-Home Entrepreneurs Can Supplement Their Income

Combat Thermostat Ignorance and Save

Say "No" to Save Dough

A Bay Area federal judge has mocked and slammed gig-economy meal-delivery firm DoorDash, after thousands of its workers joined together to weaponize a controversial labor-control tactic used by the company and many Silicon Valley technology businesses. In a scathing ruling, Judge William Alsup issued an order that compels DoorDash to abide by the arbitration clause it imposes on workers after ...

The Hyundai Venue is a tasty little snack box. Loaded with standard features, a remote smartphone app and perky styling, it's as Mini Cooper-cute as it is utilitarian. And it's also an increasingly rare dish: a new vehicle available for less than $20,000. Finding an affordable vehicle these days is almost as hard as ordering a $3 hamburger in an airport. The average - average! - new car ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News