Is Chocolate Really an Aphrodisiac?

Posted on 02/07/2018 by admin   | No Comments

chocolate aphrodisiacWe already know that there are many health benefits of chocolate, with recent studies proving both dark and milk chocolate, in moderation, can actually be good for you. There are also some other benefits of chocolate that are  not as commonly known, one of them being the “myth” that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we wanted to explore this so we decided to do some “Googling”. Here are some interesting tidbits we found in our quest to learn the truth about chocolate and aphrodisiacs.

According to an article in Cosmopolitan magazine, 17 Aprodisiac Foods that Can Affect Your Sex Drive, chocolate is listed as number 6, with Dr. Dianne Hoppe, the medical resource for the article, detailing that the phenyl ethylamine (PEA) in chocolate is a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of well-being. In addition to the natural caffeine, the doctor recommends choosing dark chocolate for the heart health benefits as well.

So what is PEA?  According to Wikipedia, it’s an organic compound, natural monamine alkaloid, and trace amine which acts as a central nervous system stimulant in humans. It’s also found in many other organisms and foods, chocolate being one of them. Another source states that it is a trace amine and influencer of many of the “happy hormones” such as dopamine and serotonin, which are two of the neurotransmitters responsible for your happiness. Being happy could definitely lead to “being in the mood” for love, couldn’t it?

Another article on WebMD.com suggests that even though there is no food that truly stimulates sexual desire, the mere suggestion of it can stimulate the love senses and put you “in the mood”! The article even outlines how the Aztecs believed chocolate was a powerful aphrodisiac. The article goes on to suggest that although we do not absorb enough of the PEA to actually affect our emotions, the taste and texture of chocolate is what feels sexy.

Back to the article in Cosmo, another food on the list of 17 are strawberries! The article states that according to legend “strawberries originated from the heart-shaped tears of Aphrodite after she learned of her lover, Adonis’s death”. Dr. Hoppe explains that the fruit is high in Vitamin C, which is important for the production of sex hormones and chemical neurotransmitters in the brain to increase libido. Wow!

What does all this mean for Valentine’s Day? According to our research on Google, pairing strawberries with chocolate could definitely be a powerful aphrodisiac. Our suggestion is to place your order now for our Chocolate Covered Strawberries so that you can present your lover with a combination that is sure to stoke the fires this Valentine’s Day. Even if the food is not an actual aphrodisiac, we know this gift will light the love in your Valentine! And, don’t fight the crowds, just place your order online by Monday, February 12th, give us the time you want to pick them up, and skip the lines on Valentine’s Day!


How You Can Get Healthier AND Eat Your Chocolate!

Posted on 01/11/2018 by admin   | No Comments

If your New Year’s resolution is to focus on your health, you probably think you have to give up all your favorite treats, like chocolate. We would like to share some very good reasons why you may not have to put down the chocolate quite yet!  It’s been proven that there are actually several health benefits to eating chocolate. And we aren’t just talking about dark chocolate here. Research is now finding that all types of the rich, decedent, creamy, treat may have health benefits. Of course, as always, the recommendation is to enjoy in moderation, and as with any food, too much is never a good thing. BUT there are some seriously good reasons to eat just a bit of chocolate every now and then.

First, chocolate can lower your chances of heart disease and stroke. According to a study done by the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry in Scotland, 100 grams of chocolate, which is about two bags of M&M’s or two chocolate bars, a day can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. The study was reported on by the Huffington Post, and concluded that people who ate chocolate regularly were 11% less likely to develop heart disease, and 23% less likely to suffer a stroke. So, break out the nightly chocolate and glass of red wine, because science says they’re healthy.

Next, we found that chocolate can lower blood pressure. Chocolate contains flavonols, which are naturally occurring compounds within chocolate. These have been suggested by some studies, such as the one noted above by the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry, to affect blood by making platelets less sticky and improving blood flow to the brain. This means that blood can circulate better and ultimately affect blood pressure as well. There are less flavonols in milk chocolate than in dark chocolate, but the benefits are still there.

Research also show that chocolate can slow signs of aging. According to studies done by Cornell University in New York, chocolate can reduce signs of aging. This is due to one of the antioxidants that is naturally occurring in chocolate, epicatechin. This actually affects the brain and has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia. Other antioxidants also reduce the risk of arthritis and can ease the pain of arthritis.

Did you know chocolate can help fight the common cold? Antioxidants, got to love those little guys, in chocolate can fight the common cold, or at least help. Phenolics, was found to help ease symptoms of the common cold and help boost the immune system. Between this, and chocolates ability to help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, what more could you need?

In moderation, chocolate can be healthy and provide some serious health benefits, so it’s okay to satisfy your craving once in a while, without breaking your New Year’s resolution! If you want to reap the benefits of chocolate, Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe can help! All our chocolate is home-made, so it’s always fresh. And we can make custom orders of dark, milk, or white with all your favorite combinations, like chocolate covered pretzels, hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries, or assorted chocolates with nuts and fillings. Visit our new website for all your chocolate needs, or you can stop by our shoppe in Middletown! After all, it’s good for your health!


Corporate Gift Giving Guide

Posted on 12/01/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

corporate holiday giftsWith the holidays just around the corner it is definitely time to start shopping, and that includes your clients. This is a great time of year to show just how much you appreciate the business that your clients give you. Plus, sending your clients a little something sweet is a great way to remind them of the relationship you’ve built with them and why they choose to work with you. At Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe we specialize in corporate gift giving, and because we are certified gift basket designers, we always know exactly what to send to your clients. Here are our suggestions for corporate gift giving this holiday season.

For long term clients that you have done business with for years, we recommend something a little on the bigger side. They have been clients for years, and that means they’ve given you a lot of business, so make sure what you send them conveys just how much you appreciate this. Why not send an Excelsior Treasure Box?  This is our ultimate gift, with nine pounds of fresh, homemade, hand dipped chocolate, it is the gift of the season. It includes 7 boxes filled with your choice of chocolate cover pretzels, chocolate covered Oreos, fancy truffles, chocolate covered graham crackers, almond bark, chocolate covered cherries, and Non Pareils. It also has a little brother, the Excelsior Jr., that comes with six boxes, and is a little lighter on the chocolate, but not by much!

As for clients that have been around for a hot minute, but not quite since the beginning, we recommend something like the Elegante Treasure Box. This decadent box set comes with four pounds of our homemade chocolate and treats. With both dark and milk chocolate, this treasure box is sure to be a show stopper with your clients. You might also consider sending the Sumptuous Treasure Box. It is a three piece set with two pounds of chocolate. Plus with this option you get the choice of sending either milk or dark chocolate.

Newer clients deserve some love too! And we have just the thing: the Sweet N’ Simple Treasure Box! This wonderful treat comes with hand dipped chocolate covered pretzels and an assortment of milk and dark chocolates. It’s great for newer clients, or clients with smaller offices. It’s just enough for everyone to have a little something sweet and show your appreciation.

Another option for your clients is a Custom Corporate Gift Basket. This option lets you send promotional materials, custom chocolates with your logo and contact information, and still spread some holiday cheer! It is sure to stand out in any client office, and bring a smile to everyone’s face.

The holidays are a time for giving and showing appreciation, especially to your best clients! At Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe we can work with you for all of your gift giving needs, all you need to do is tell us your budget, give us your list, and we’ll take care of the rest. Contact Us today to get started on your corporate gift giving!


Coffee and Chocolate Forever 2.0

Posted on 09/28/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

coffee & chocolateThere are some pairings that just work. Abbot and Castello, Lucy & Ricky, Sonny and Cher, and this holds true with food. We all have our favorite pairings and for us at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe its chocolate and coffee. Chocolate and coffee are one of those classic pairings that is perfect for a dinner party or brunch.  Here are some of our favorite ways to pair these two favorites!

The Sweet and Salty. Mocha is a sweet coffee flavor, and with just the right chocolate, it can make the perfect sweet and salty combination. Since Mocha is made with espresso beans, hot milk, and either milk or dark chocolate added to it for sweetness, you’ll be doubling down with the chocolate for this flavor combination. Due to the sweetness of the mocha, we recommend salted caramel chocolates, chocolate covered pretzels, or for a fun night in watching movies, try a mocha coffee and chocolate covered potato chips. The sky is the limit with the sweet and salty combination, and it really is the culmination of all your food craving dreams.

The Opposites Attract. Certain flavor combinations seem so wrong, but are oh so right. Think fried eggs on burgers or avocado and goat cheese, or dare we say it, pineapple on pizza. That is exactly what white chocolate and an Americano are. The sweetness and subtle flavors of the white chocolate combined with the full-body, richer taste of the Americano coffee are a perfect complement to each other. We recommend white chocolate truffles with an Americano to really bring an interesting sensation to your palate.

The Straight Up Combo. If you need a little extra oomph in the morning, there is no shame in mixing your morning cup of joe with some delicious chocolate. Simply choose your chocolate flavor, a bar works fine, and poor some hot coffee right over a few pieces. The chocolate will melt creating a sweeter and more robust coffee. Dark chocolate is perfect for a mellow morning, whereas milk chocolate is the thing for the mid-afternoon pick me up.

We love coffee and we love chocolate, so combining the two makes for double the love! Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe has everything you need to create these wonderful and classic chocolate and coffee pairings. So stop in for recommendations, or to try something sweet today! You can also shop online right on our website.


Need to Apologize? No problem!

Posted on 08/22/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

suzis sweet shoppe homemade chocolate and fudge NJLet’s face it, we are all human, and that means that we can’t be expected to be perfect all the time. To never say the wrong thing at the wrong time or to upset someone else; messing up is part of being human. For as Alexander Pope said in “Essay on Criticism”: “to err is human”. Which is why the Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe crew will be celebrating Kiss and Make Up Day on August 25th, and in honor of this day we thought we’d give you some sweet ideas for an apology.

For the special lady/man in your life: Sending flowers is cliché, and jewelry is overdone. Cologne doesn’t really express your feelings, and there are only so many different power tools in the world. Sometimes apologizing to your SO is the hardest apology of all; what thing can really sum up “I’m sorry and I love you?”, and truly express how deeply you mean it? That is why you should think out of the box. Maybe make them a special dinner that you only cook once in a while, or take them to their favorite restaurant, or even do an activity you know they’ll enjoy, even if you aren’t in to it. Whatever you decide to do, you might even want to end the day or meal with a sweet treat, and there is nothing better than enjoying some chocolate covered strawberries with the one you love. They are romantic and subtle, perfect for apologizing to your SO.

For your parent/grandparent: Just because they are your parents, or grandparents, doesn’t mean you never fight, or have a reason to apologize, and sometimes words just aren’t enough. Sure cards are nice, but anyone can pick a card out at the store, and half of the time there is never a perfect card that really conveys your feelings. In this instance why not get them their favorite treat? It lets them know that you were thinking about them and do feel sorry for whatever you need to apologize for. And there are lots of great treats in the shop! Maybe your dad is really a fan of something sweet and salty, so why not pick him up some chocolate covered pretzels? Or maybe your mom really loves anything chocolate, so why not pick up some fudge for her to try? There are many ways to “kiss and make up”, but when you’re trying to apologize to a parent, a sweet treat might be just what you need to break the ice.

For your sibling: Siblings fight, no matter how old they are. It comes with the territory of being siblings, but as any brother or sister knows, that doesn’t mean you’re except from apologizing. If anything you want to “kiss and make up” with this person more than just about anyone else, because who else has been your partner in crime since birth? Siblings are a special case, and sometimes being the one to take the first step in “kissing and making up” is hard, which is why you should make a day of it. Take your sibling out on the town or out to lunch or just something fun that the both of you enjoy. Maybe go golfing or have a spa day, whatever it is you like to do together, do it! It will certainly help in the way of an apology, and you both get to have fun! And maybe you end the day munching on some chocolate covered Oreos or Mallow Mars, just to give you a sense of nostalgia.

We all have had to kiss and make up with someone before, and here at Suzi’s we got your back! With everything from chocolate covered strawberries to homemade fudge, we know the perfect way to say “I’m sorry”. So stop into the store for Kiss and Make Up Day on August 25th or order online, no worries, we’ll help you find the perfect way to kiss and make up.


National Rum Day is August 16th! Have You Had Your Rum and Chocolate?

Posted on 08/11/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

rum cordials suzi's sweet shoppe Chocolate is one of those amazing treats, not only because of its sweetness and variety of flavors, but because it can be paired with so many other delicious things. From chocolate and pretzels, which give that perfect sweet and salty combo, to chocolate and wine, chocolate makes a great addition to many treats. And rum is no exception. Rum and chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly, or milkshakes and fries. They just work. Not only can they be made into delicious treats, like cordials or rum candies, but rum and chocolate also make for a great tasting experience.

Because of chocolate’s sweet silky textures and flavors, it is the perfect pairing with rum’s sugar cane base. That being said, there is a trick to pairing rum and chocolate. Older, better quality rums should be paired with chocolates with a higher cocoa percentage, like dark chocolates. Younger rum should be paired with sweeter and milkier chocolate, like milk chocolates. Another factor to think about when pairing your rum with chocolate is the barrels that the rum was aged in. Different types of barrels will give a different flavor, and this could greatly affect the type of chocolate you choose to pair your rum with. Most distilleries will include this information either online or even on the bottle. For different notes of flavor, you can also try pairing spiced and white rums with chocolate to give a different flavor combination. For example a spiced rum with a higher cacao percentage chocolate will complement the rum and bring out the hints of cinnamon and caramel notes.

Regardless of what type of chocolate you prefer to pair your rum with, pairing chocolate with different foods and drinks is fun! And there are really no wrong pairings, it is all a matter of taste. However, for those of us who prefer to have our chocolate and rum in one convenient treat, there is the rum cordial. Made with homemade milk chocolate and filled with a rum liquor center, rum cordials are the perfect rum/chocolate pairing. They are dessert and a night cap rolled into one tasty treat. So, in honor of Rum Day on August 16th stop in the shop for some of these tasty treats. You’ll be sure to make Captain Jake Sparrow Jealous!

 


Family First

Posted on 07/26/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

suzi's sweet shoppe where the love of family meets chocolateAt Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe we value family and what that means, not only to us, but to our customers as well. That’s why our motto is: “Where the love of family meets the love of chocolate!”, because we know just how important family is. In fact, as a small business, we happen to be family owned, and family run! As many of you know, not only do my husband and I work in the shop, but so does our daughter, and before he moved out of state, so did our son Danny. This gives our motto a whole new meaning, because we really are embracing our family and the love we share, and extending that all to you through our love for chocolate.

Recently, our family has had some exciting events: our son Danny got married! And we cannot be happier about this! All our family and friends came together to celebrate the union of our son, and our now daughter-in-law, Kayla. Having everyone at the wedding made the day oh so special, and reminded us all at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe, why we do what we do. We love bringing family together and being able to share all of those sweet moments. In fact, even before the wedding, our son and daughter were the prime examples of our motto. Working side by side, our dynamic duo made and packed up all his chocolate wedding favors! Showing just what family does for one another, and how the power of family is great to have in a pinch, especially in our shoppe.

But our own family events are not the only excitement this month! Aunts and Uncles Day is July 26th! It’s a great day to celebrate the important people in our lives who have been there to support us, but aren’t necessarily our parents. Sometimes we forget to celebrate the rest of our cheering section, so it’s important to remember them on Aunts and Uncles Day! Another big event this month is Father-in-Law Day on July 30th! It’s a great time to tell your father-in-law just how much you appreciate all that he does! From fixing things around the house, to being your go-to baby sitter, father-in-laws sure do a lot! So, with that in mind, remember Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe has the perfect gift to let your aunts, uncles, and father-in-laws know just how much you appreciate them, because after all its “where the love of family meets the love of chocolate”.

You can shop online or in the store, so come on by and join the Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe family.


Milk Chocolate Day is July 28th!

Posted on 07/21/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

chocolate covered pretzelsChocolate is one of the most popular treats around the world! Since the early explorers learned of its existence from the Aztecs, chocolate has been a coveted substance. Once only meant for royalty, this sweet, decadent dessert has become a treat for all! And at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe we love to make you feel like royalty with our homemade chocolate.

Everything in our store is made fresh, and our chocolate starts with the freshest and purest ingredient, the cocoa bean. Before chocolate can be the sweet, delicious, bar we think of, it starts off as a humble cocoa bean. The beans originated from Central and South America, and are far less sweet than the chocolate we actually eat! But these beans are what give chocolate its chocolate-y flavor. Without them chocolate would be nothing, and we would be far less happy people!

First, the beans are sorted and cleaned before roasting them, the roasting brings out their chocolate flavoring! From there the beans are then crushed to get at the “nibs” inside the beans. From there the nibs are sent through an air tunnel before being crushed down into a chocolatey paste, this will then be mixed with milk and sugar to become the sweet, creamy milk chocolate we eat. Chocolate can be processed differently to produce dark, milk, or white chocolate, which we offer all three at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe!

The Aztecs believed that chocolate was a gift from the gods, and we’d have to agree. We love the stuff, and we know you do too, which is why, in honor of Milk Chocolate Day on July 28th, we are having a HUGE sale! In celebration of our favorite day of the year stop by the shop between Sunday, July 23rd and Friday July 28th and take advantage of our sale! If you buy ½ Lb. of chocolate, get ¼ Lb. FREE! That’s how much we love chocolate and you! For more information head over to our website or stop by the store and check out all of our sweet deals!

Is there a better way to celebrate Milk Chocolate Day? We don’t think so! So join us for some fun and celebrate Milk Chocolate Day with all of us at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe.


Our New App!

Posted on 06/21/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

suzis sweet shoppe appIn today’s age of technology, it seems like there’s an app for everything! Need to do some online banking? There’s an app for that! Need to check movie times? There’s an app for that too! But at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe we noticed that there was one vital app missing from our lives: our own! How else could people order chocolates from the convenience of any location? Download coupons with ease? Learn about our latest deals and promotions? The answer was simple, the Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe family needed an app, and we are pleased to say that we have delivered!

You can find the Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe app in the App Store. Just search Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe and it will be the first result! It is available for download on both Android and Apple devices and takes just a few seconds to download. Once in the app you can read about us and how we got our start making and selling our sweet treats, place an order, check out testimonials, and even get coupons! In fact, just for downloading the app, you are eligible for 20% off any one item! It’s our way of thanking you, our loyal customers, for taking the time to download our new app.

One other nifty feature of the app is our rewards program! Simply click the loyalty button on the home page and this will bring you to your stamps. By shopping in-store you can receive stamps from the cashier, once you have collected ten of these you will receive 20% off one item on your tenth visit! And if you’re interested in some other freebies, there’s something else in the app that will peak your interest: the freebies page! Here you can sign up for our birthday club to receive a gift on your birthday! You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, which will tell you about our promotions, news and any updates we’ve made. Plus you get 20% your purchase just for signing up? Sweet huh?

And one last thing, through our app you can find us on other social media sites! Twitter, got it. Facebook, on it. Pinterest, we are all about it. Plus we are on Instagram! You can even leave reviews and testimonials on Google+! You could say that we’ve gone fully digital, and you’d be right! It’s all about making sure you have everything you need to get your sweet chocolate fix! So like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest and Instagram, tag us in you Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe photos, and download the app! Because chocolate has now entered the digital age!


Its Dads and Grads Season!

Posted on 06/08/2017 by Suzi   | No Comments

mallomars by suzis sweet shoppe middletown nj chocolate shopJune is an exciting month! The kids are getting out of school for summer vacation, and some are graduating: college, high school, 8th grade, and kindergarten! Plus, Father’s Day is in June! With so many wonderful things happening, it calls for a celebration!

This year Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18th and the day is all about dad. Our dad’s do a lot for us, from mowing the law to teaching us anything from how to dunk or hit the softball just right to how to drive. We owe a lot to our dad’s, which is why we should make sure to give them something a little extra sweet this Father’s Day: chocolate! We know just what dad wants this year, from our hand-dipped chocolate covered pretzels, to chocolate covered bacon, and novelty molds just for dad, we have it all at Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe. And if you are looking for something extra special, try our Daddy’s Favorite. It’s a play on the popular Mallomars and starts with a vanilla wafer cookie topped with marshmallow fluff and then coated in chocolate. We also have a version of Daddy’s Favorite that has a bit of a spin to it. In between the marshmallow fluff is a layers of decadent coconut! This sweet treat is perfect for dad, and we would know, as it was a favorite of our own father, hence the name, Daddy’s Favorite!

Chocolate party favors for graduation partiesIt’s also important to celebrate all the grads this year, so why not have a party for the special grad in your life? Plus it is a great reason to treat yourself, and your grad, to some chocolate party platters! Everyone loves chocolate, and we have some perfect platters to tickle the fancy of even the pickiest guest. Like our Jennifer Platter. Named after one of our favorite customers, this platter is an assortment of chocolates, chocolate covered pretzels, and chocolate covered Oreos. It has everything that a celebration needs! And if that still isn’t quite enough, or not exactly to your tastes, we have chocolate covered pretzel platters. Each pretzel is hand-dipped in our homemade chocolate and then coated in a little more sweetness, like M&M’s and sprinkles. These platters are sure to keep your guests happy, and more importantly, your grad too! We also have graduation themed lollipops and party favors that can be customized for your school colors.

June is a fun time, with lots to celebrate. So if you are looking for that perfect something for dad, or need a little sweetness for your grad, check out our website, or stop by the store today! And from our family to yours, congratulations on graduating and Happy Father’s Day!