Chocolate Works was founded by second-generation Chocolatiere and West Point Academy graduate, Joe Whaley, in 2012. Joe grew up in the chocolate business, packing truffles at night for his family’s chocolate store, 5th Avenue Chocolatiere. In 1999, Joe took over the family business and expanded the 5th Avenue Chocolatiere brand, which grew to have a strong international presence.
Since 1973, 5th Avenue Chocolatiere has operated a retail store in Manhattan, servicing both retail and corporate clients. The Whaley family has been servicing some of the world’s most well-known brands with unique corporate gifts for almost half a century.
In 2008, Joe Whaley moved the businesses chocolate production center from a 2,000 square foot rented space in Long Island City into their own spacious 10,000 square foot facility on Long Island. To help utilize some of this unused space Joe opened a small retail store. Selling chocolate and molded items. In 2011, Joe’s wife Colleen came up with the concept to offer birthday parties which included a factory tour and use of the equipment.
This was a game changer. The parties were a huge hit, the retail business started growing, new corporate clients were being developed. Joe knew he had something special with this multi-revenue stream business model and over the next 2 years, Joe worked to create the right franchise business model. In 2014, Chocolate Works began franchising offering units in the northeast.
Today, Chocolate Works is an interactive concept transforming the corner candy shop into an experiential chocolate store. Customers can purchase chocolates and sweets, or put on an apron and join in the fun of making product. Kids and adults of all ages are invited to indulge in a hands-on learning experience of molding, decorating, dipping, enrobing and crafting their very own chocolate and candy creations.
Highlights of the First 2 ½ Years of Franchising
The last two years brought incredible growth and development to Chocolate Works. Chocolate Works has built and secured a solid foundation. Chocolate Works is now ready to move the concept out of the Northeast and expand nationwide.