Thursday, June 20, 2019

Sit a spell, Summer. We missed you.

It's another grey day on the North Shore, but it's not cold.  Not raw.  We are over the hump!  Kids are graduated, those who haven't yet have had their last day of school; folks from away are starting to trickle into town.
I love this time of year.
I love the traffic, the sea, the sun, seeing people from all over the world.

June has been a pretty great at Turtle Alley, we've got lots of folks loving our new curry caramels, a  taste explosion that is very near and dear to my heart:
For a sweet petite choco, this curry caramel packs a wallop
June was mixed for me personally.  We (all of Gloucester, really) lost a great friend and the brilliant mind of Jim Dowd.  I had a significant birthday that was not my favorite.  And then THIS HAPPENED:

Conrad and David of Los Lobos IN MY SHOP

One of my favorite things about my job is that I get to listen to music all day.  I've spent many years listening to Los Lobos.  Thousands of pounds of chocolates have been made listening to these guys.  I've seen them many many times.  To have them show up in my shop was a highlight in Turtle Alley history.  I always wanted to be the rock and roll chocolatier, and now, at my advanced age, it could happen!  They were completely lovely and gracious.  I like to think the show that night was particularly fantastic because they were fueled by Turtle Alley sweets.  A girl can dream, can't she?

I'm planning on a wall of fame in the shop.  Let's put our minds together and see how we can get more rock stars at Turtle Alley, or at least eating Turtle Alley.  I'm looking at you, Ry Cooder!  Bob Dylan! The National! Andrew Bird! Valerie June! J.S. Ondara! Nick Lowe!  Elvis Costello!  Phish! Lizzo! Beck! Taj Mahal! 

I think I'll just go into this new birth year dreaming this dream.  When I'm not dreaming of chocolate, of course.

Last but not least in the world of Turtle Alley, Denny the tomato guy brought me new tomats to grow this year, and they are shaping up to be a bumper crop!
May 25th                                  June 20th

Come by and check their progress in the Gloucester shop.  We'd love to see you!

xxx H

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Happy Spring!

Hello, Turtle Faithful!

If April showers bring May flowers, I'm thinking May is going to be a BLOOMFEST!
We're over the hump:  there's light in the sky in the afternoon, buds are showing themselves, things are trying heartily to get green.
I'm not the only one who's feeling good about it, our customers are, too.  We're seeing a lot of folks right about now for the Easter holiday, also selling lots of sweets for Passover.  Whatever you are celebrating, it's SPRING!

yup, that basket is made of chocolate.
By hand!
all these bunnies are solid.  No messing about.

Spring is also a fertile time for me in candyland.  Lots of inspiration.  I'm really quite happy with our latest, our Curry Caramel.  Topped with a flake or two of Maldon salt, the balance of curry, cream and milk chocolate is just heavenly.  I expected the dark wouldn't work, and I was spot on.  Not enough fat in the dark chocolate to make that curry really taste creamy and full bodied; interestingly, though, in the dark chocolate, the curry went completely floral.  I did not see that coming.  Learning new stuff is boss!

A bar I've been playing with for a year or so finally had it's debut as well:  the Bjorkbar.  Milk or dark chocolate, chopped black licorice, and licorice salt.  This is another one that I really enjoy best in milk chocolate. I tend to lean to dark chocolate, so as much as I like the dark chocolate version, the milk chocolate just gets the balance right. No other way to describe it.  When I am lucky enough to  achieve that perfect balance, I'm grinning for days (or maybe I'm grinning because I'm taste testing every other minute.  Sugar is a powerful drug).  

Keep your eyes peeled for more new delicious bits and bobs.  After Easter, though!


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Glad to meet ya, 2019!

Hoodoggers, my Turtle Peeps, I find myself once again overdue!
Happy New Year.  Happy Valentine's Day!
I guess I just sort of slid through November-January without a blink.  Things do get a bit hectic....
Christmas Eve, 1 minute after we opened the doors.  It was like a rock concert!

It was an amazing Fall, busy and fun, tasty treats flying out of our Gloucester and Salem shops.  We just have the best people in both shops behind the counter right now; I'm thankful daily.
In most recent chocolate holiday news,  Valentine's Day is fast approaching.  Amy and Brandy from our shop on Derby Street in Salem  just had a fabulous time at Salem So Sweet, an annual event that has grown so very much since we first did it 15 years ago, really great to see it has become such an event!
Here in the salt mines in Gloucester, we're making things as sweet and foofy as possible, which for all my cranky exterior, I love love LOVE.
I'll pretty much put hearts on anything.  Oreos, for instance.

In the world of not-about-Valentine's Day, I'm excited that we have a couple of new turtles in dark chocolate.  I really really like pistachios, always have.  It's been hard to find a really great pistachio out there that is affordable, fresh and delicious, but at long last, we have.  Say hey to our dark chocolate Pistachio  Turtle, as well as our dark chocolate Cherry Pistachio Turtle.  We just couldn't decide which one was better, so we made both.  They are both selling equally as well, so there it is.  So far only one person has asked about milk chocolate.  What say you, Blog folk?  Yes or No?

I anxiously await some feedback on this.  We are running out of space in our cases, making it necessary to use the limited space we have wisely.
For now, though, I'll be making Valentines.  Lots of them.  All sorts of shapes and colors.  Come see us!  If you come on Valentine's Day proper, I can guarantee you it will NOT be just men, and that we will be open an extra hour that night.  See you in the Alley!

PS:  don't forget to click on highlighted words.  There are fun links lurking behind them!