The art of Valentine's chocolate
February 10, 2017
Chocolate and Valentine’s Day. The two were forever united in 1861 when British chocolate maker Richard Cadbury began selling chocolate candies in heart shaped boxes. For the Gunbarrel-based Concertos in Chocolate the two are still an intense and inseparable pair.
“What’s unique about Valentine’s is all our customers come in within about ten days of Valentine’s Day,” said owner and self-titled chocolate composer Chris Widlar. “It’s funny that it’s very intense. Especially the four days before Valentine’s Day.”
Operations manager Dustin Burton agrees. “It’s the number one busiest day for walk-in traffic,” Burton said of the holiday. But Concertos, which Widlar started from her garage in 1999, has had years of experience preparing for the rush.
“We start making Valentine’s Day chocolate in December,” Widlar said. The company manufactures a variety of holiday-specific options such as heart shaped chocolate suckers and chocolate bars with the word LOVE in the production room at the Gunbarrel facility.
But the work doesn’t stop there. “In mid-January we start making truffles,” Widlar said. “We have some nice pieces like a rose cream truffle with rose water and a passion fruit truffle with a heart on top.”
According to Burton, the iconic heart shaped box of chocolates is still popular. “Most people are doing a custom box of truffles. That’s the number one best seller.” Concertos offers a 30-piece box for $60 and a 14-piece box for $35.
On February 11, 13 and 14, Concertos in Chocolate, located at 6395 Gunpark Drive, Suite R, in Gunbarrel, plans to be well-staffed and ready to assist shoppers. “We will make drinking chocolate and snacks for our customers in case they have to wait, and we make chocolate dipped strawberries. Usually they’re just special order,” Wilder said.
Concertos is proud to use all natural, ethically-sourced ingredients, and their products can be purchased at several socially conscious retailers, including Whole Foods and Pharmica, and at local businesses such as Niwot Market and Tods Espresso Cafe in Gunbarrel.
Widler chose the musical term Concertos for the name of her company because of her background in music.
“We do chocolate as an art,” Burton explained, “just like music is an art.”