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Mon, April 06

Local shop a must-stop for Valentine’s chocolate lovers

Colleen Corson shows off some of Gayle's Chocolates. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Colleen Corson shows off some of Gayle's Chocolates. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

COTTONWOOD - The manager at Gayle’s Chocolates is not worried about running out of chocolate lips, chocolate roses or truffle smooch kisses this valentine's Day.

Colleen Corson said they will just make more.

That’s because Gayle’s Chocolates makes their chocolates in Cottonwood at their production shop on North Main Street.

Customers can actually see their sweetheart’s truffles being made through a window into the tiny factory during production between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., said Corson.

This is an exciting Valentine’s Day for Gayle’s Chocolates because it’s the first Valentine’s Day since the small company moved from Michigan to Cottonwood last June and was bought by Michael Portnoy, his wife, Andrea, and son, Louis.

For Valentine’s Day, the company also has Love and Kisses Tins, chocolate Valentine’s bears, Valentine’s chocolate bars and peanut butter hearts.

But the store is known for its unique and large chocolate molds such as lady’s high heel shoes, golf clubs, motorcycles, corvettes, champagne bottles, animals and dozens of other items.

 Portnoy said he purchased Gayle’s Chocolates from Gayle Harte, who started making chocolates in a saucepan over a stove in her home in Royal Oak, Michigan, almost 40 years ago.

Gayle’s Chocolates opened in Cottonwood in June and has a window from which visitors have a portal view to the candy factory where employees have the sweetest job in town.

Harte closed her 34-year-old business in Royal Oak – a suburb of Detroit – two years year ago. Portnoy assumed the retail business, production, as well as the internet presence at gayleschocolates.com.

Portnoy, of Sedona, hopes to take advantage of the popularity of the two dozen wine-tasting rooms that have opened up in the Verde Valley in recent years.

Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. And Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gayle’s Chocolates, 541 N. Main Street, Cottonwood; 888-761-COCO (2626).

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Gayle's Chocolates includes delights in all shapes and sizes. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

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