by Tim Ehrenberg and Suzanne Bennett
You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy chocolate (and books), and that’s kind of the same thing. Now you can do both at one place at Nantucket Bookworks on 25 Broad Street.
Suzanne Bennett, Bookworks’ manager, explained “Owner Wendy Hudson has always wanted to have a little extra something here at Bookworks. When Barnaby Bear decided he was ready for his own store,and we now had the space in his old corner, we were wondering what might be a good match. Books and chocolate just made sense to me, especially with our two beautiful island chocolate stores in retirement. Brownies are one of my favorite food groups so a chocolate store and me go together. My chocolate search began and Louis Sherry was on my mind.”
The Louis Sherry brand began in 1881 when Louis Sherry introduced the French chocolate-making tradition to New York and quickly established a reputation for excellence. The iconic chocolatier reflects, “Sherry’s dedication to quality is present today in every truffle we craft. Only the highest quality ingredients, ethically sourced from Ecuador to Madagascar to the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, are used by our master chocolatier. In celebration of our heritage, each array of chocolates is packaged in the traditional Sherry’s tin, a recast of the original, now more than 100 years old.”
“Louis Sherry is old school NYC for me,” Suzanne added. There is a nostalgia around the tins. Once the chocolate was gone, the tins continued on as Grandma’s button boxes, sewing kits, and more.”
Suzanne continued her chocolate search continued, and she explains “Blanxart, just like one of my favorite books, We the Drowned, was chosen by the cover. I judged, and it worked for me. The two bars we carry are a dark chocolate with Marcona almonds and a milk chocolate with hazelnuts. They are a chunky and satisfying bite, and the packaging… swoon worthy!”
It was in April of 1954 when the master chocolatier, Francesc Agrás, embarked on a long journey through the best patisseries and confectioneries in Europe. Blanxart’s website tells us. “His passion for excellence in artisan confectionery was the seed that led to the founding of one of the most renowned Catalan chocolate factories: Bombons Blanxart. It all started in a modest workshop in the neighborhood of Les Corts (Barcelona) and feeding a dream: bringing the best cocoa beans from Ghana, Congo and Guayaquil to chocolate.”
Marou Chocolate research was easy. “Graham Greene wrote that whatever you’re looking for you’ll find in Vietnam.” The country’s fine-flavored cacao managed to remain hidden for more than a century. When Marou found it, they quickly understood it would make great chocolate, but they also knew the job required a life-long commitment. They happily obliged.
Suzanne says, “Marou is a chocolate that offers 6 single origin bars. This was a choice as it seemed like you could give a gift of a chocolate tasting in one package. Like wine there is so much to learn about chocolate and what the taste can tell you about where it came from. These bars paired with a book is such a great gift idea.”
French Broad’s beginnings have helped to shape every piece of French Broad Chocolate; from a tiny cafe in Costa Rica to internationally celebrated bars and bonbons. “French Broad came on board,” Suzanne explained, “because they offer chocolate chips. Chocolate chips don’t have to be just for baking. I personally love snacking on them. We did and do a lot of baking in our house, and I was fortunate to have some great chocolate chip connections from Neil at Le Languedoc to Matt at Something Natural. We always have a bumper crop on hand. I was always getting a knock on the door for a cup of chips from our kid neighbors for cookie baking. They never made cookies, this I know,” Suzanne added with a knowing smile.
“While on my chocolate search, I ran into my friend Rita. Rita told me about a great place in North Truro called Chequessett Chocolates—it’s almost local,” she added.
Chequessett Chocolate explains: “We carefully handcraft our chocolate in small batches from fine-flavor, sustainably grown cacao beans at our workshop on Cape Cod. We believe in promoting sustainable agriculture and our direct trade relationships with producers ensure that our supply chain is ethical and environmentally sound. Blending high quality cacao with the purest ingredients available, we create chocolate that is both exceptional in taste and wholesomely decadent.” With names like Nantucket Nib Crunch, Monomoy Mochaccino, and ‘Sconset Brown Butter Sage, this next-door neighbor has found the perfect home at Nantucket Bookworks.
I have always thought of Bookworks as one of my very places to pick up a unique gift for someone. Something that you can’t find anywhere else. Something that is so specific to a person, for that quirky friend’s birthday or for the one-ofa- kind family member who has everything. This chocolate corner only enhances that sentiment. Their selection of chocolates from around the world—especially researched, chosen, and curated by Suzanne—offer a perfect option for every sweet tooth.