72 Broadway Greenlawn, NY 631-425-1885
When Heather Foley was casting about for a name for her new chocolate shop in 2004, she didn't want to call it Heather's Chocolates. "I do everything by feeling," she said, "and chocolate gives you a certain feeling that you can soar. I wanted a name that evoked that sense of blue skies and possibility. And I wanted something that began with 'A' so it would be listed first in the phone book."
It is this combination of whimsy and practicality that has made Foley's enterprise such a success. Since it opened, Azure Chocolat has grown from a tiny retail operation into a thriving concern, an acclaimed local chocolatier and, increasingly, a wholesale powerhouse. Azure now supplies 17 northeastern Whole Foods and a handful of other local stores.
In July, Azure Chocolat moved from its original location, a rather lonely corner in Centerport, to downtown Greenlawn. The retail area is, if anything, a tad smaller than it had been. But the kitchen is twice as big, and there's a full basement below for storage and an office. Foley is thrilled at the increase in foot traffic: "I love interacting with customers," she said. "It's great to just come out of the kitchen with something new and say, 'Try this!'"
Foley is constantly experimenting, but customers won't let her abandon her core products: Beauty Bark, dark Belgian chocolate punctuated with nuts, dried fruit, cocoa nibs, flax seeds and sea salt; salty-buttery toffee covered in either milk or dark chocolate and adorned with nuts and sea salt; S'mores d'Azure, homemade rose-scented marshmallow and chocolate ganache sandwiched between homemade graham crackers, coated with chocolate; and more than a dozen varieties of truffles - the fall season brings carrot cake, honey-date and pumpkin-mocha-latte.
Little-known fact: Azure Chocolat is a gluten-free zone, and there are some delicious options for vegans as well. "We don't make a big deal of it," Foley said. "All the stuff just has to taste great." -- Erica Marcus
At the confectioner Azure Chocolat in Greenlawn, owner Heather Foley, right, with her colleague Alison Krueger. (Newsday Photo / Erica Marcus / September 2010)Hours: Tues- Thurs. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fri. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Closed Sun. - Mon.