Suzi’s Holiday Gift Guide Makes Holiday Giving Easier!

Posted on 11/22/2016 by admin   | No Comments

holiday gift giving guideThe holidays are fast approaching! Thanksgiving is this week already and the December holidays are right around the corner! At this point you are probably starting to think about your holiday shopping and are trying to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list. Let us help inspire you with our annual gifting guide. We have something for everyone on your list, no matter whether you are giving corporate or personal gifts.

Gift baskets and boxes

Whether you want to send a little bit of chocolatey goodness or a ton, Suzi’s knows exactly what you need. Gift boxes and baskets are great for clients, neighbors, and distant relatives. They can be personalized with corporate branding, or a personal note, so you don’t have to worry about making sure they know it’s from you. A gift basket or our tower boxes are a sweet treat that everyone can enjoy!

Gifts for kids

Sometimes you just need some extra stocking stuffers, or a smaller gift for the first night of Hanukkah to go along with something else. The answer? Chocolate. It’s a sweet treat that makes every kid happy and we at Suzi’s have all sorts of fun holiday chocolates! Snowmen and dreidels are just a few of the holiday chocolates we have, but there is sure to be something for everyone.

Teacher gifts

The holidays are a great time to show your appreciation to all of the teachers in your life, but instead of getting them a generic best teacher gift, get them something a little more unique, and sweet. Hot chocolate spoons are a great gift for teachers. These decadent spoons are meant to be dipped and stirred in hot chocolate to add just a little bit more sweetness. You could also gift your teachers some traditional holiday candies, like peppermint bark and ribbon candy, these treats are sure to set your gift apart from the pack, something your teachers will appreciate.

To make your holiday shopping just a little sweeter, Suzi’s will have special deals for Black Friday (11/25) and Shop Small Saturday (11/26)! Can’t make it into the store? No problem! Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe is online and on Cyber Monday (11/28) we’re offering free shipping via USPS on orders of $50 or more! So check off everyone on your list with gifts of chocolate and spread holiday cheer! And hey, there isn’t a rule that says you can’t get something sweet for yourself. Stop by the store or visit us online today!

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The Sweet Treat of Halloween

Posted on 10/21/2016 by admin   | No Comments

Candy Corn - Halloween candyThere is one candy that everyone seems to have a strong opinion about. Typically people fall into one of two camps over this treat, you either love it or you hate it, its candy corn! Personally, we at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe fall into the camp of loving the stuff. Which is why we are bringing you the fascinating history of candy corn.

Candy corn got its start in the 1880’s when it was invented by George Renninger of Philadelphia. At the time Renninger was working for the Wunderlee Candy Company, BUT Wunderlee did not keep the secret to the sweet treat for long. The recipe was bought at the turn on the 20th century by The Goelitz Confectionery Company. When The Goelitz Company first acquired candy corn, they were actually calling it Chicken Feed, due to its shape and color. The company even marketed the treat with a rooster as the mascot and the tagline “something worth crowing for”. Today, The Goelitz Company is known as The Jelly Belly Co., which still produces and sells candy corn. In fact, Jelly Belly, holds the record for being the company to produce candy corn for the longest. Jelly Belly even has a candy corn flavored Jelly Bean to honor its candy corn roots!

The making of candy corn hasn’t really changed since the 1880’s. It is a mixture of fondant, sugar, marshmallow crème, vanilla extract, and corn syrup. The mixture, of basically sugar, is melted into a slurry of sugary goodness before it is molded and then dyed to its iconic orange, yellow, and white color. Now you’re probably wondering how candy corn can possibly be okay to eat, it is sugar on sugar after all. Surprisingly, candy corn is fat free and is only a 140 calories per handful, and that’s a heaping handful too.

Candy Corn is such an iconic treat that there is even a National Candy Corn day, which is October 30th, not surprisingly, the day of candy corn, is the day before Halloween, which is the holiday most associated with the candy. In fact, the National Confectioners Association estimated that 35 million pounds, or 9 billion pieces, of candy corn were produced in 2015. We should tell you that this is not just around Halloween time, no, candy corn is actually marketed all year long, and there are even different colors for different holidays. Around Thanksgiving, you can get candy corn that’s orange, white and brown, the brown being chocolate flavored. Christmas? Green, white and red, candy corn is made, and given the appropriate name of Reindeer Corn. Valentine’s day? There’s Cupid Corn, which is pink, red and white. No matter the holiday, candy corn is always in season.

Candy corn is definitely one of our favorite treats here at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe! So stop in today to pick up your candy corn and while you’re here, check out our other sweet treats (no tricks!) for Halloween.

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Think Pink This October with Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe

Posted on 10/11/2016 by admin   | No Comments

October is a busy month! With the start of fall there is Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, AND Halloween, just to name a few things that go on in October. But October is important for a completely different reason as well: its Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

There are multiple breast cancer awareness organizations, such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation and The American Cancer Society, each with its own focus and mission. Some advocate for teaching women how to self-check their breasts for lumps, others focus on raising money for research and prevention. However, there is one local charity that does something remarkable. Breast Intentions is a Middletown charity* run by cousins Erika Rech and Mike Ruane that raises money to help women and their families affected by breast cancer make it. These local angels ensure that families affected by breast cancer won’t fall behind on living expenses. In addition to this the cousins also raise money for wigs, transportation to and from treatments, prosthetics, clothing and food.

Breast Intentions began when the cousins experienced firsthand just how devastating breast cancer can be. Within the same year, two of their family members were both diagnosed with stage 3 and stage 2 breast cancer. Erika and Mike wanted to help their family, and so they began making t-shirts and raising money to pay the bills. Their experiences led them to create Breast Intentions and now they have chapters in New Jersey, Massachusettes, Illinois and New York!

So how can you help? Easy. Think Pink with Suzi’s! This month Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe will be featuring a “Think Pink Corner” where you can purchase chocolates in support of Breast Intentions.  We’ll be donating 50% of the proceeds for anything purchased in our Think Pink collection. Suzi’s will have different breast cancer awareness products in addition to their sweet, decadent chocolates. So run down to Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe this month and Think Pink!

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Celebrate American Business Women’s Day

Posted on 09/22/2016 by admin   | No Comments

Susan Hordych and her Mother, both women entrepreneurs.

Happy American Business Women’s Day! On September 22, 1982, the American Business Women’s Association sponsored the first ever American Business Women’s Day. It was recognized by Congressional Proclamation in 1983 and 1986. It is a day to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for women to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking and national recognition. Many of our local chambers of commerce and business organizations have created committees and chairs for professional women to share their experience, knowledge, and strategies for success with other women in business.

Today is a day to honor and reflect upon the contributions and accomplishments of the millions of women in the work-force and the millions of women business owners in the United States. Did you know that as of 2012 women owned almost 10 million businesses and employ 19.1 million workers? That’s one in every seven employees! Women-owned businesses account for $2.5 trillion in sales, and according to this article in Forbes Magazine, women own 36% of all businesses (according to the 2012 U.S. Census) – that’s an increase of 30% since 2007!

It is my honor and privilege to be among these statistics as a woman-owned business. I would like to recognize the many women business owners that I know, work with, and collaborate with who are following their passions and adding to the successes of women-owned business throughout the country.  Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe is my passion, my pride, and will one day be my legacy to my children and their children. Let’s celebrate our fellow women-owned businesses today!

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The Short and Sweet Life of a Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Posted on 09/19/2016 by admin   | No Comments

chocolate covered strawberries NJRomantic. Decadent. Sweet. Juicy. These are just a few words to describe one of our customer favs here at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe: Chocolate Covered Strawberries! But these little morsels of goodness are a lot more complicated than it seems, so we’ve decided to give you a How It’s Made of chocolate covered strawberries.

It starts with the strawberries. You want them to be firm and ripe enough for flavor, but not mushy, because no one likes a mushy strawberry. Plus, the ripeness of the strawberries will affect their shelf life. Typically, a chocolate covered strawberry will last up to three days if covered and refrigerated, but a mushy strawberry is sure to shorten the lifespan of your sweet treats! What if your strawberries are a little under ripe? Wait. Sure, they will last longer, but if you plan on serving the strawberries within 24 hours your strawberries will be too hard and lack that delicious sweetness. At Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe we use nothing but Grade A strawberries, locally sourced when they are in season, and we make them to order, so you get the freshest chocolate covered strawberries possible.

Chocolate pros, like the experts at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe, know that if the strawberries are too cold, the chocolate will cool on the skin of the fruit too fast, so before going for the chocolate, the strawberries are left out to become room temperature. After this, the strawberries are dipped and twirled in chocolate. For this to be done easily, the stems are sometimes left on the strawberries during the dipping process, which is great for a fancy look. At Suzi’s we remove the stems and dip the entire strawberry in our decadent, homemade chocolate. After the strawberries are dipped in the chocolate they are placed onto a tray lined with wax paper and then put into our cooling tunnel. From here the chocolate covered strawberries are ready to enjoy! Yum! Once you get your chocolate covered strawberries home it’s time to eat up those little bites of heaven!

Chocolate covered strawberries are one of the sweetest and most romantic treats around. They make great gifts, and are amazing on platters for your party, group or organization event. We can take orders online or by phone in advance, but only need a couple of days in the event of an emergency. And we always have some in-stock, so make sure to stop on into Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe and treat yourself to something sweet!

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How to Maximize the Last Days of Summer

Posted on 08/18/2016 by admin   | No Comments

things to do in middletown njWell it is that time of year again. Back to school. This can be both a joyous and sad time of year, summer is coming to an end, the kiddos have to go back to school, and there still feels like so much you want to do this summer. Here at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe we understand the end of summer and start of school rush, so from our family to yours here are some of our favorite day trips and activities for the last days of summer.

Enjoy the Beach One Last Time

This one might seem kind of obvious, especially if you’ve been hitting the beach all summer, but hear us out. That last week of August and the first week of September are golden beach times. The tourists are dwindling down, so the beaches feel almost empty, and all of the fun boardwalk activities are still in full swing, so take advantage of some summer sun and cool ocean breezes, tourist free.

The Monmouth Museum is Hands-On for Kids

Located on the Brookdale Campus on Newman Springs Rd. in Lincroft, NJ, the Monmouth Museum is a great place to take the kids, because it is a museum designed for kids! With fun and interactive displays the Monmouth Museum inspires kids to learn about their world, create crafts from recyclable materials, and even has a play area! This is a great place to go on those scorching August days or even when it’s too rainy to be outside.

Play with Penguins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium

Located on the Point Pleasant Boardwalk, Jenkinson’s is fun for kids of all ages. With sharks, seals, and of course clown fish like Nemo, it’s a great way to entertain the kids. Plus there is even a touch tank where the kids can get a little more hands on with some of the sea life, such as urchins and star fish.

Hit Up Some Local Parks

There are so many awesome parks located around Middletown, so why not hit them up for some hiking? Bicentennial Park features some great hiking whereas parks like Applebrook and Bodman feature soccer fields, restrooms and playgrounds. It all depends on what you are looking for. You can even explore several parks throughout the week, sort of like a Park Crawl event! The point is to soak up some summer sun with the kids, before the school year starts.

Smell the Sweetness at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe

Suzi’s is a great place to stop in, relax and grab yourself and the kids a sweet treat, especially if you’ve been out all day back to school shopping. Nothing can brighten the mood better than chocolate! So make sure to treat yourself and the kids to something sweet to ease the pain of going back to school. Might we suggest some chocolate covered Oreos, pretzels or our version of the Mallowmar, Daddy’s Favorite?

chocolate covered pretzels middletown nj

Going back to school doesn’t have to be all back to school shopping, pencils, notebooks and last minute summer reading, it can be just as fun and eventful as the beginning of summer! So embrace the last few days of summer vacation and hit up some of these great Jersey Shore hot spots! And if you can’t make it in to the shoppe for a sweet treat, you can always place your order online!

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Suzi’s Guide to All Occasion Gift Giving

Posted on 07/25/2016 by admin   | No Comments

gift baskets and party plattersGifting is something that isn’t just for the holidays, sometimes it’s nice to send a little thank you gift, or maybe you’re attending a summer barbeque and don’t want to show up empty handed. But what do you bring? And when is it appropriate to? Never fear! Because we are here to give you a definitive guide to help answer these gift giving conundrums.

  1. The Thank You. Sometimes people just go the extra mile for you, and in those situations it can be really difficult to thank them properly. You feel like a card just isn’t enough, but at the same time you don’t want to make what might be a professional relationship or a working relationship weird. Don’t worry because there are some gifts, like for teachers or the stellar concierge, which feel personal, but don’t blur that relationship. Food is a good way to go here, like a chocolate platter, it doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just something to say thank you for all the hard work you do or maybe thank you for being there as a friend.
  2. The Summer Bar-be-que. If you’re like us, then we understand your plight with dinner parties and bar-be-ques. Everyone always says you don’t have to bring anything, but you hate showing up empty handed, like it will somehow insult your hosts. This is another one of those situations where is it okay to show up with some type of dessert or maybe a side dish. Again, nothing fancy is necessary, the point is that you are showing your appreciation for being included.
  3. The Just Because. Ever be out and about and you see something that reminds you of someone? Either a friend or a family member and you just think, “oh this would be perfect for them”? Well sometimes it’s just nice to pick something up just because. You don’t always have to have a reason for getting someone a gift. They could have just been on your mind.
  4. The Business Savvy. It is really difficult to stay fresh and relevant in today’s fast moving world, with people catching Pokémon on their cell phones and everyone going a million miles an hour all the time. It’s important for businesses to stay savvy in this tech world, and to let their clients know they appreciate their business. One way to do this is to send a little care package of sorts to your clients. It lets your clients know that you appreciate their business, but it also serves as a calling card, a reminder that you have a working relationship that you are invested in from a business standpoint.
  5. The Anniversary. People have anniversaries all the time, but these can be applied to businesses as well. Maybe you have been working with a client for five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years now, why not send a gift as a thank you for so many years of business? It’s a great way to acknowledge your professional relationship with your client and show your appreciation.

Now for the biggest conundrum of them all: what do you bring or in some cases, gift? Especially in a more professional relationship it can be hard to find a meaningful, but yet not too personal of a gift. The best way to avoid this hiccup? Gift food! Offices love getting platters of chocolate assortments with chocolate covered cookies, pretzels, and fudge. It is a great way to boost morale, and be remembered. On a more personal relationship level, gifting/bringing food is something everyone can enjoy. Chocolate is a great idea in this instance, because who doesn’t love chocolate? Plus it is easy to get a gift basket, or an assortment of treats to suit all of your needs, especially at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe. So check out our website today.

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Daddy’s Favorite May Be Sweeter Than You Think

Posted on 06/27/2016 by admin   | No Comments

daddys favorite mallomars suzis sweet shoppe chocolate njOne word can send most of the people in the New York/New Jersey area into a tail spin. That word is not porkroll, it’s Mallomars! Believe it or not, this popular cookie got its start in Hoboken, New Jersey under the name Marshmallow Crème. The Marshmallow Crème was so popular that Nabisco, the inventors of the vanilla wafer and marshmallow fluff covered in chocolate cookie, decided to package them for larger retail sales. So in Hoboken at a little grocery store, Nabisco, which still packages and sells the popular cookie even today, began selling Mallomars by the box in 1913. So what’s the big deal then? Why do so many people go crazy for these little cookies? Well, originally Mallomars were sold only from September through March. This was because before sophisticated refrigeration, the thin outer chocolate shell would melt in the warmer summer months. Today Nabisco upholds the tradition of selling their version of Mallomars from September through March, despite advances in refrigeration, and for this reason people anticipate the time when these little cookies return to the shelves. In addition, 70% of all Mallomars are sold in the North East, specifically the New York/ New Jersey area, which makes them as regional as New Jersey’s famous porkroll! It also explains why people have been known to hoard them, and if you’re Tony Soprano from HBO’s popular drama The Sopranos, threaten to kill for them.

mallomars by suzis sweet shoppe middletown nj chocolate shopFortunately, for those of you not local to the birthplace of Mallomars, you can stop hoarding this fantastic little treat. Why? Because there is a place where you can find an amazing version of Mallomars all year round. At Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe in Middletown, New Jersey, we specialize in our own version of Mallomars, and we call it “Daddy’s Favorite”. The name comes from Suzi’s father and his love of Mallomars. He used to indulge in these little treats all the time, and could eat them by the bag. So as a loving tribute to her father, Suzi, makes her own version of this classic cookie. At Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe, we have some options for our Mallomars. We offer the traditional version with our own homemade chocolate which covers the cookie and marshmallow. We also offer an elevated version featuring a little caramel and coconut to bring new levels of flavor to this over 100-year-old treat. The cookie starts with the classic vanilla wafer cookie as the base, topped with marshmallow fluff, a drizzle of caramel and some coconut for sweetness. Covering the whole decadent treat is Suzi’s homemade chocolate. You can purchase these amazing cookies covered in either milk or dark chocolate in store and on our website. So what are you waiting for? Stop hoarding the Mallomars and enjoy them year round with Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe!

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Fun Facts Everyone Should Know About Chocolate!

Posted on 06/13/2016 by admin   | No Comments

chocolate covered pretzelsIt’s the treat we all know and love: chocolate. With its creamy texture and delicious taste, chocolate is loved by millions. So in honor of this sweet treat here are ten surprising facts about chocolate.

  1. According to Smithsonian Magazine, our English word “chocolate” actually comes from an Aztec word “xocoatl”. This word linkage is thanks to the Aztecs being the first people to use cacao beans to make a chocolate drink, this drink was called xocoatl by the Aztecs.
  2. To the Aztecs chocolate was a sacred mixture in their culture and was even said to be the food of the gods. By drinking what researchers believe to be a more bitter tasting drink, the Aztecs were calling upon the power of the divine.
  3. Speaking of the Aztecs, current research and archaeology is contesting the fact that the Aztecs were the first people in Central America to make use of the cacao beans around them to make chocolate. Archaeologists have used different scientific methods to determine that pots dating back to the Olmec actually contain chocolate residue. This type of study has also been successful in identifying chocolate in Pueblo pots, suggesting that chocolate would have been traded from Central American to the American Southwest some 800 years ago.
  4. It was not until the Central American xocoatl drink was popular in Europe that a man named Joseph Fry came along and in 1847 created the first chocolate bar. So next time you sink your teeth into all that Chocolatey goodness remember to thank Joseph Fry for realizing that a little bit of butter, sugar and some high heat could mold chocolate into convenient bar form.
  5. During the American Civil War chocolate was so valuable that it was included in rations as a form of payment to the soldiers, and though this fact might be old, it is a testament to the now $4 billion dollar chocolate industry in America today. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the average American eats about half a pound of chocolate every month.
  6. Thank goodness dark chocolate has some proven health benefits, otherwise that half a pound of chocolate every month would be bad. Turns out, according to Medical News Today, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants! Granted, the lower the sugar content and the higher the cacao content the more antioxidants there are. Basically, if the chocolate is dark or biitter, it’s super healthy.
  7. In the same vein of dark chocolate and health, dark chocolate has recently been proven to lower cholesterol, improve memory, and can lower your risk of heart disease. This doesn’t mean chocolate is the answer for everything, and certainly not large amounts of it every day, but a moderate amount of chocolate is good for the health as well as the soul.
  8. Chocolate has been a renowned aphrodisiac for centuries, and this old wives tale might just be true. Chocolate actually releases the chemical serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the general feel good chemical that produced feelings of happiness. Turns out the same chemical is released during sex as well.
  9. Not completely sold on the benefits of chocolate? Well a recent study has concluded that chocolate can actually reduce stress levels. This is connected to the serotonin that the brain releases once the chocolate is consumed.
  10. Though this may not be directly connected to chocolate, it does relate to one of the biggest American chocolate tycoons, Milton Hershey. Hershey was in Europe on business in 1912 and was scheduled to be on the Titanic, but at the last minute his business plans changed and he missed the boat. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Not only does chocolate have an interesting history, but it is good for the mind, body, and soul. What more do you need to know? Well, we do more than just make our own chocolate in house! We provide wedding and party favors, corporate gift giving services, can ship anywhere in the country, and make the best chocolate covered pretzels around! Never miss another birthday, holiday, or opportunity to thank someone. You can place an order online and stop by the shoppe to pick up your order or contact us to place a custom order. Head on over to Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe and pick up some stress reducing, divine treats for yourself.

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Memorial Day Is Around the Corner!

Posted on 05/27/2016 by admin   | No Comments

hand dipped chocolate strawberriesIt’s almost here, the unofficial start of summer – Memorial Day!  It’s a time to remember those who have lost everything while protecting our freedom serving in our armed forces.  Originally, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day and commemorated the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.  During the 20th century Memorial Day was extended to honor all Americans who have died while serving in the military.

And with our observance of those that have given so much to our country and the many parades and celebrations throughout our towns, it also brings about the holiday BBQ weekend.  There’s nothing like a summer kick-off BBQ to bring family and friends together over this holiday weekend!  If you are hosting the festivities, remember, a BBQ is supposed to be fun and laid back and often times there’s no need for a fancy menu.  If you keep with the essentials of hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, and a few delicious appetizers you can even add your own delicious twist on these classics to blow your guests away.

But for dessert don’t forget to be playful and have fun with it, create something red, white and blue to keep with the theme of the weekend.  Aside from the normal cupcakes, fruit salads and ice cream, why not try something different for dessert – like chocolate!  Give your guests something truly delicious, like a platter of chocolate hand-dipped fruits and pretzels.  These can be made with any kind of chocolate and decorated in all types of red white and blue accents to set the tone for your Memorial Day BBQ.  In addition, if you are looking for something to send home with your guests, why not try some flag shaped chocolate lollipops to show your patriotism! Or better yet, instead of baking a cake, try some other chocolatey goodness:

  1. From fruit to pretzels, marshmallows, nuts and even cookies, everyone loves the rich taste of their favorite snacks covered in chocolate. We can create custom platters, baskets or boxes that make great dessert buffets.
  2. Whether you are planning a backyard BBQ or are taking it to a park, beach or other off-site location, including delicious chocolates as part of the dessert options is a definite crowd pleaser. Platters of hand-dipped fruits and pretzels can add pizzazz to the dessert menu and can be easily kept in a cooler until ready to serve.
  3. It is always nice to send your guests home with a reminder of your party.  Chocolate lollipop favors are just the right size to take home and will give your guests a delicious treat to look forward to later.

Don’t forget to be playful and have fun with it, by creating something red, white and blue to keep with the theme of the weekend. In addition to party platters and lollipops, Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe specializes in all types of party favors, custom candies and corporate gift baskets.  We are now taking orders for all-occasion party platters , so contact us today for all your party and BBQ needs!

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