VIDEO: Li-Lac Chocolates: Timeless Bunnies from Vintage Molds
Li-Lac Chocolates is one of of New York’s oldest chocolate companies. Founded in 1923, the company has passed carefully through several hands over the years, and it now rests happily and safely with Anthony Cirone and Chris Taylor. Anthony and Chris have been careful to preserve the traditions of Li-Lac Chocolates, and their expert staff of chocolatiers will continue to make their beloved confections as they have for decades.
Chris told me that most of the molds they use are almost 100 years old. Li-Lac’s Easter Bunnies are beautiful and whimsical — not cartoon-like characters like many of the modern figures. The chocolate eggs are also classic and decorative, meant for us to admire before we gobble them up. The nut bonbons are also made with antique molds that allow the nuts to show through the top of the piece of chocolate.
So when Chris and Anthony invited us to come to their pristine, lilac-colored factory in Brooklyn, we could not resist. It seems like everyone I talk to has their favorite Li-Lac product. My sister Andrea can’t get enough of the chocolate covered Oreo cookies. My husband loves the giant peppermint patties. I am partial to the milk chocolate nonpareils, although a fresh pecan turtle is will give the nonpareils a run for their money.
Once the chocolate Easter bunnies have chilled and solidified, Fawzi removes them from the molds and sends them upstairs for finishing and packaging team. They shave off any excess chocolate from each figure and polish it very carefully, adding decorative eyes and ribbons as needed. They place each figure in a cellophane bag and tie it with a festive bow. Every piece of chocolate from Li-Lac is exceedingly fresh.
Li-Lac felt the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which struck during Halloween, a important time of year for a chocolate business. The West Village location was out of commission with the blackout for a week as well. Undaunted, Chris and Anthony ended up donating much of their Halloween products to Sandy’s victims around the city.
Visit Li-Lac in their Grand Central Market shop or at 40 8th Avenue and Jane Street in the West Village for a sweet taste of New York City history.
Many thanks to Deb Brozina and Making Change Productions for directing this video, and to James Wesolowsi for the still images!
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