NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A Pasco County chocolate shop owner said hot chocolate bombs saved her business.
Michelle Palisi owns Chocolates by Michelle on Little Road in New Port Richey. She has been in business for nearly 40 years.
She said the pandemic destroyed her business.
"Some days we made no money, some days we made $20, $30, $40 and that was it," said Michelle Palisi. "I have to do a lot more to pay the overhead, the electric, the rent and everything. We were not making it. I was here crying and having a pity party because there were no customers."
She started to make hot chocolate bombs around the holidays after seeing the craze on the internet.
"Every time we went on Facebook, there was somebody making the bombs. I think people were tired of 2020. People were home cooking and baking," she said.
Hot Chocolate Bombs are filled with hot cocoa mix and marshmallows. People may place the hot chocolate bombs in a mug and pour a hot cup of water or milk over it. It makes a hot chocolate drink.
Palisi said she has sold more than 3,000 of them since she started.
Customers are traveling from surrounding counties to pick them up at her chocolate shop.
"We have six different sizes, 2 smalls, 2 mediums, 2 larges so our prices were reasonable from $3.99 to $6.99 for the specialty ones. We did the Grinches, Christmas trees, Santa Clauses. We made baseballs, tennis balls. We made basketballs and we're doing footballs," she said.
She said she will continue to make them. She is also making chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine's Day.
"This year, I anticipate it's going to be the chocolate bombs with the strawberries and I think that's what people are going to want. They were coming in here so much that we had a waiting list. First time I'd ever have to have a waiting list for the people."
Palisi said she appreciates the community's support.
"Chocolate is a feel-good item," she said. "I actually love making chocolate so I started with one mold and now I have close to 20,000 molds."
For more information visit: https://www.chocolatesbymichelle.com
You may also call : (727) 849-7502.