Detroit, MI (CBS Detroit) – Like a lot of us, you might give chocolates to loved ones on Valentine’s Day. And if you’ve been down to the Winter Blast in downtown Detroit, you may have seen Guilt Chocolates. They make handmade, small-batch treats you can’t find anywhere else.
The company was started by Joe Nader and Scott Breazeale, former executive chef and sous chef, respectively, at Ford Field in Detroit. “Guilt Chocolates was started about a year ago, and our first event was Valentines Day last year,” explains Joe Nader, Co-Owner of Guilt Chocolates. “We are a hand-crafted, hand-painted chocolate bonbon company.”
Nader and Breazeale launched the business just in time for what they refer to as the “Big Three” of chocolate holidays — Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day. The Christmas holiday season is the fourth busiest time of the year. “We basically take from Christmas to Easter, that’s when we do about 80% of our business, in those couple of months,” adds Nader. “So we go straight from Christmas into Valentines Day. I’d say Valentines is the number two holiday as far as overall economics in the industry.”
From a 3,000-square-foot former party store in Redford, the team creates high-gloss, polished chocolate bonbons, that take hours to create, mix, and decorate. “There’s a lot of labor of love that goes into this product, it’s not just shot it with color, fill it with chocolate'” explains Scott Breazeale, Co-Owner of Guilt Chocolates. Available in multiple colors and flavors, the bonbons include signature looks like chrome or robin’s egg blue.
“I think our business is unique to the Detroit Winter Market, especially over the holidays,” adds Breazeale. “People were able to pick up a really neat gift that you can’t find anywhere else for somebody special in your life.”
“For us to have folks that are not familiar with us walking in off the street, it’s an amazing opportunity to be able to sell and expose our product to these people,” says Nader, “The wonderful thing that we have down here with these pop-ups is you get the opportunity for a physical presence down here and exposure to the public.”
“We feel like we’re helping out the community by providing people a living wage to work with, and we’re pretty proud of that.”
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