Norman Love Confections
Norman Love Confections in Ft. Myers and Naples, Florida has the OMG factor that very few businesses achieve. Then again, there is only one Chef Norman Love!
This self-described type A personality chef spent years traveling 42 weeks a year, opening Ritz Carlton hotels and resorts pastry kitchens around the world. There are many stories and memories that go with such frequent traveling and I laughed when Chef Norman described ‘snow’ boarding on the sands in Dubai.
Chef Norman moved down to South Florida when he was in 10th grade, not the easiest thing for a hockey player looking for an outlet. When hired by an ice cream shop, Chef Norman viewed the sundaes he made as artistic creations.
One thing led to the next and Chef Norman was trained, professionally, to become a pastry chef. The transition to chocolatier was another extension of this man’s incredible talent and artistic abilities.
After years on the road Chef Norman and his wife Mary opened Norman Love Confections in 2001. Chef Norman runs the production side and Mary heads up the business side. Son Ryan is honing his skills on the pastry side of the business and their daughter works part time at NLC, too.
When Chef Norman says that there is a ‘WOW’ factor in each product, it is, actually, more of an understatement. I would describe the products as BEYOND, as in beyond-incredibly-decadent-and-delicious.
For Norman Love Confections integrity is everything and the products must be and are the best. The accolades are well deserved. Norman Love Chocolates has been listed 13 times in Consumer Reports and in February 2013 it was the only chocolatier named to O, The Oprah Magazine’s The O List Valentine’s Day addition, which is GIGANTIC.
Chef Norman is quite humbled by these wonderful reviews and listings and quickly and graciously shares the credit with all of the people who work for him. The longevity of his staff is a true credit to the work environment in an industry filled with transition.
In 2004 Norman Love Confections moved from its original 700 square foot store to its current 6,000 square foot manufacturing/retail operation in Ft. Myers. Eight years later, Chef Norman opened Artisan Gelato by Norman Love, located two doors down from the chocolate shop. The gelato is reminiscent of the best that Italy has to offer and the shop is warm and welcoming. The gelato shop is also home to NLC’s state-of-the-art pastry and gelato production kitchens.
When we walked through the large chocolate facility, Chef Norman explained that the primary need for the larger space was the increase in demand for his chocolates. During the holidays, NLC will have upwards of 100 people patiently waiting to enter the shop. When people say that chocolate shops cannot make it as destination businesses, they need to add Norman Love Confections to their itineraries.
It’s time to tempt you with some of NLC’s truffles:
Passion Panna-Cotta – A light buttermilk ganache layered with passion fruit and vanilla jam covered in white chocolate
Peanut Butter & Jelly – Fresh strawberry jam and creamy peanut butter coated in Swiss milk chocolate bring out the child in everyone
Pistachio Cherry – Fresh tart cherry and vanilla jam layered on top of Sicilian pistachio ganache with a touch of amaretto coated in milk chocolate
Vanilla Cupcake – Sweet cream and vanilla frosting ganache mixed with tiny cake pieces in a perfect little bite
Bananas Foster – Cinnamon-infused brown sugar and fresh bananas are caramelized with a touch of citrus and blended into white chocolate and butter to create the classic dessert flavor, wrapped in a milk chocolate shell
Hot Dark Chocolate – Intense dark chocolate infused with jalepeño pepper for a delightfully spicy sweet combination
And the list goes on and on and on!
On my tour I sampled a Brownie Truffle that they are working on for Mother’s Day. OMG…WOW! Biting into this was like tasting the finest chocolate wrapped around brownie batter. You HAVE to order these!
I, also, sampled Norman Love Confections Cookies and Cream Fudge. I must confess, I am not a huge fudge lover. Or, rather, I wasn’t a huge fudge lover until that day. All of my crystallized fudge nightmares ended with one bite of this creamy smooth treat.
Chef Norman has one philosophy that is consistent in everything the company makes; do it right! It is evident in the warmth and knowledge of the people in the front as well as everyone working behind the scenes. Everyone knows the standards of Chef Norman and the results are nothing less.
Chef Norman’s words resonate so beautifully with me to this day. He said that Norman Love Confections is “Proudly making American chocolates in America”. For an industry that has in the past been defined by European chocolatiers, these are powerful words indeed.
I almost forgot to mention the best part. You do not have to live in Ft. Myers or Naples, Florida to enjoy Norman Love Confections. They ship all over the country. Whether you buy the chocolates or pastries as a gift or for yourself, the bottom line is you will not regret giving Norman Love Confections a try. The only thing you will regret is that you did not buy more!Norman Love Confections 11380 Lindbergh Blvd. Fort Myers, Florida 239-561-7215 3727 Tamiami Trail North Naples, Florida 239-687-7125
Chef Norman was kind enough to give me a box of chocolates as I was leaving our interview. All opinions written about Norman Love Confections are my own and were not influenced by this lovely gift. I have been a fan of NLC since the first time I went to the shop over 10 months ago.