A Sweet Story
Last November I read an article in our local newspaper about J. Williams Chocolate Company. I recall two thoughts:  Owner Holly McCloskey and I had crossed paths a lifetime ago through a mutual acquaintance and  that I had to contact Holly to try out her chocolates for Desserts Required.
Unfortunately, unlike my fabulous filing system for recipes, I filed this idea in my mind, which meant that it got lost in the abyss. Thank goodness, my friend Jill Mason owns La Boutique Bellissima in Cosmo & Company, where I get my hair done. A week and a half ago I was sitting with my hair wrapped in a towel, when Jill asked if I wanted to try a new line of candy she was carrying. “YES PLEASE!”
Imagine Graham Cracker and Key Lime Balls, Sugar Cookie with my choice of either White or Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds, Sugar Free Chocolate Covered Nuts and White Chocolate Toffee Covered Cashews. This was the beginning of my love for J. Williams Chocolate Company. I sent Holly a message that very minute asking to meet with her.
I met with her the day after Easter. I loved seeing the creativity that had been put into the packaging. Even though both Holly and her manager Nicole must have been exhausted, they both had a great sense of humor and their passion for what they do was clear.
The business saw its beginnings, unbeknownst to Holly at the time, when she and her husband Michael received a gift of chocolate covered graham crackers. Michael wanted more, but the box had been discarded so ordering more was out of the question as they could not remember from where they came. Holly decided to make some on her own.
As is often the case when one does something well, Holly started making more and more chocolates and serving them to friends when she entertained. They raved and encouraged her to start a business.
Holly did not open up the business on a whim, though. Rather, she took lessons to really learn the ins and outs of the world of chocolate. We may think that making turtles is a breeze. I mean all that one has to do is bath pecans in caramel and cover with chocolate, right? WRONG!
There are so many nuances to each step of every recipe Holly creates and she has learned a great deal in a relatively short period of time. I savored my Dark Chocolate Turtle, greatly appreciating the ‘pull’ of the caramel with each bite. I have eaten more turtles than I can count over the years and this is one of my very favorites.
The other chocolate treats that I could not get enough of were the Monkey Bars. They are filled with nuts, pretzel bits and caramel, all of which are then wrapped in a lovely layer of chocolate and sprinkled with Himalayan Sea Salt. No, “monkeying” around with this candy.
I loved the familial touch that is part of the company. William Joseph was Holly’s father, who loved turtles. Holly switched the name around a bit and honored her dad and created the perfect candy he would have loved. Holly is now working on including Mom’s name, Bunny, in something she creates, so her presence can be felt, as well.
There are some areas that J. Williams Chocolate Company will undoubtedly improve as time goes on. When I shared my sampler box of truffles with co-workers, we found that a few of the truffles were not completely filled on the inside and there were mixed reviews on a couple of the flavors. For example some people loved the Banana Truffle, while others did not. I got the same reaction to the Balsamic Truffle. Everyone agreed, however, that the Orange Truffle and Mocha Truffle were delicious.
Given the short time that Holly has been in business, coupled with her determination and drive, I have no doubt these issues will be resolved with time.
I truly believe the future looks very sweet for Holly. In addition to purchasing right from her shop, you can also find her candies at Amici Market, La Boutique Bellissima in Cosmo & Company and the West Palm Beach Green Market, where Holly first tested out her chocolates.
If you are unable to shop at one of the above locations, take the time to order Turtles and Monkey Bars online. While you at it, I highly recommend placing an order for some of her fabulous ice cream toppers…Butter Crunch Toffee Bits. They are the very best parts of a chocolate covered toffee candy broken into little pieces. Best of all, they store beautifully in your freezer, providing you don’t eat them all in one sitting.J. Williams Chocolate Company 1253 Old Okeechobee Road Suite B8 West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 561-296-2413 http://www.chocolatejw.com – currently under construction