November 24, 2014

A sweet deal for two local companies

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Amarah’s Chocolate Company owner Angela Emerson holds the chocolate bar created for The New York Times Store. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate).

Amarah’s Chocolate Company owner Angela Emerson holds the chocolate bar created for The New York Times Store. (Observer photo by Stephanie Choate).

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

November 14th, 2013

A chocolate bar evoking turn-of-the-century New York City in the winter—with a wrapper featuring trolleys, carriages and tiny pedestrians filling an architectural drawing of Times Square—looks straight out of Manhattan.

In fact,  two Williston companies are behind the novelty chocolate bar specially created for The New York Times Store, which “brings discerning shoppers a selection of well-curated products,” according to its website.

Williston-based Amarah’s Chocolate Company developed the bar—a thank-you gift for Times Store shoppers—and digital design and print company Subatomic Digital, also in Williston, created the wrappers.

“The New York Times is a big client of ours, and because made-in-Vermont products carry a lot of clout with their clientele, they were asking if we could come up with a premium chocolate bar for them as a holiday giveaway,” said Bob DiVenuti, Subatomic Digital co-founder and president.

In typical Vermont style, they turned to a local company they knew and frequented.

“Matt (co-founder Matt Strauss) got in touch with Amarah’s, we sent some samples down and they loved it,” DiVenuti said. “We like to support local vendors, and they were real local, real close, and high quality.”

On Friday, trays of the chocolate bars cooled on the racks at Amarah’s, while piles of the completed product—hand-wrapped by the owners, Angela and David Emerson, in a series of late nights—waited to go out to sweet-toothed New Yorkers.

The contract is one of many new orders that have fallen into the Emersons’ laps this fall, after Angela Emerson spent much of the summer on bed rest due to a serious illness. The chocolate company is also beginning to work with Vermont Vermontweddings.com and is in talks with what Angela Emerson termed “New England’s number one candy and confection distributor.”

“I don’t know what’s going on, the planets are aligning for us,” Emerson said. “After 10 years of blood sweat and tears, it’s very humbling. … We have grown every year, but this last month has just been incredible.”

The company has been growing so much, Emerson said, that they have begun negotiations to open a second location—though it may be more than a year in the future.

The Emersons have no plans to leave Williston, however.

“Williston is what made us,” Emerson said. “We’re not leaving. I attribute our success to our customers. We’re very grateful.”

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