Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates
By Janice Llanes Fabry
There’s been nothing bittersweet about Diane Holland’s ascent at 137 Purchase Street. As a matter of fact, since Blue Tulip Chocolates opened across the street from the train station five years ago, her product and bottom lines, have increased dramatically. Her clientele reaches far and wide, throughout Westchester, Greenwich, and all the way to Boston.
“Chocolate is about comfort and fun, and it’s important that it be delicious,” said Holland. “Chances are that if you’re coming in to buy chocolate, you’re happy already and we want to keep you that way.”
The chocolatier of 25 years arrives at her shop’s kitchen every morning by 6:30 to create unique small batches of fine confections using only the highest quality chocolate from France and Belgium. Among her most popular specialties are dark and milk chocolate ganaches, caramels, bars, and barks. Blue Tulip’s truffles may be born of cocoa, but their centers will spoil confection lovers with creamy hazelnut, caramel dulce de leche, fresh pistachio, or chili and honey infused ganache.
“We create a new flavor every week and a new product every few weeks,” noted Holland, whose 50 lip-smacking flavors certainly keep customers interested.
Some of the irresistible combinations she and assistant chocolatier and store manager Andrea Hendersen have come up with are Himalayan salted caramel flowers, honey and French lavender ganache domes, and new and improved versions of classic American candy combinations. Who wouldn’t be tempted by a peanut butter cup with fresh peanut butter ganache or a marshmallow cup with Madagascar vanilla bean marshmallow, both homemade and enrobed in Belgian chocolate?
There are also new and improved S’mores and Oreo-style sweets. New this fall are Blue Tulip’s triple chocolate chunk cookies, macaroons, toffee almonds, and black cocoa brownies.
“Our customers have gotten used to having special gifts for their friends,” said Holland, whose broad ranging merchandise is always meticulously decorated and wrapped.
A new section, “say it with chocolate,” offers an assortment of personalized confections with custom discs for birthday, anniversary, thank you, or get-well sentiments. “Edible fashion” shelves display a whimsical array of hand painted shoes, lipsticks, and handbags in various sizes and prices. They make great party or luncheon favors, as do mini and tall towers with different kinds of chocolate-covered fruits, nuts, or malt balls. Children love the “hand-painted fun” selections from sheep and trout to mini cars and emoji-like characters.
Blue Tulip also has an expansive line of custom wedding and bridal shower favors. As Holland remarked, “We continually try to come up with new ways to wow our customers with original and unique bridal designs.”
Part of the shop’s success can be attributed to Holland’s attention to her customers’ needs. In addition to her exquisite confections, Domestic Goddess coffee and rich hot chocolate are always on hand (frozen hot chocolate in the summer). Plus, there is plenty of parking right in front of her shop, which will remain open until 6 starting in October.
“We began as an artisanal chocolate shop five years ago with the hopes that we would be successful here. We are so grateful to the wonderful support of the Rye community, which has been amazing. It’s very important for us to give back,” noted Holland, who supports local charities all year long.
Stop by for complementary tastings and samples on Blue Tulip’s five-year anniversary celebration September 18-22. A European photography exhibition by Mare Wisma will also be on display.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 – 5;open until 6 starting in October.
Blue Tulip Chocolates owner Diane Holland