About the Lab

Arlene Brockel

Arlene Brockel

Owner/Chocolatier

I am proud of what I do and it shows in my work. Anybody can make chocolate. But making it by hand is a lost art these days. People see my love in my product and the taste. You can tell the minute you walk thru the door of the shop – this is no ordinary chocolate shop. Visually beautiful and creations unique to our store, I am sure you will find something to make your heart and your taste buds smile. See what’s gotten The Valley hooked for 11 years.

Never knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was 37, I am proud to say I have found my niche in the world!

Melissa Mayers

Melissa Mayers

Chocolatier

Always having an affinity for the sweeter things in life, Melissa grew up surrounded by and being immersed in baking and candy making. After pursuing her dreams and attending The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Somerville, MA, she realized that her passion for baking and fattening up her friends and family was ready to expand into the world of confections and chocolates. She enjoys testing flavor combinations and new twists on old favorites. She currently resides in Bethlehem with her inspiring, handsome, and supportive husband, Nick, and her ever growing succulent garden.

Production

Chocolates are made fresh daily from the minute we walk thru the door until the time we close. Holidays we work long after the store closes and we work Mondays just to keep our shelves stocked during Christmas. This is one reason we are closed Mondays – especially in December. We need an entire day to work uninterrupted to re-stock, wrap candy, box candy, and fill orders. We don’t machine, or mass produce, anything. Coldwater Creek once called us for bite-sized chocolate lab dogs for a Christmas catalogue. They needed 10,000 pieces in a week. “Sorry – can’t do that!” No machining.

Our temperers are two 60 watt light bulbs underneath a stainless steel bowl that rotates while a fan spins to cool the chocolate, melting about 10 pounds of chocolate at a time.

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