After over 30 years producing chocolates and sweet treats for the island, Chilmark Chocolates will close its doors for good on December 18th 2019. They announced the close earlier this year and now the time has actually come.
For Tea Lane Associates, Chilmark Chocolates has served as a crucial part of our rental check in protocol and were going to miss them more than most next summer! For many years the familiar white box with distinctive brown lettering has been the go-to welcome gift for many of our summer clients. We would stock pile them in July and hide them in the back of office drawers - for fear of colleagues “borrowing” a box or two here and there because, despite happening every year, we all managed to forget that Chilmark Chocolates would CLOSE FOR AUGUST!
The quirky opening times was part of the charm of this female owned business which was started by Jan Campbell in the 1980’s . Inspried by her father, Malcom Campbell who was VP of the Van Leer Chocolate Coroporation, she soon recruited partners Mary Beth Grady and Allison Berger to help with her vision for the company. The women, who met while working at Camp Jabberwocky, made it their mission to train and employ people with disabilities at their Chilmark chocolate factory and this has been the model ever since. Mary Beth and Allison took over the company from the Campbells and have run the business the same way for 33 years.
Read about the beginning of the story in the New York Times here
Yesterday when driving by the sweet little factory and store located just past the Tea Lane Associates Chilmark office, the road was lined with vehicles and the lines up to the door were more typical of July than December!
So what will we all do now? Well, the business will not be sold, but the goodwill and expertise has been passed on to two sisters, Allison and Sarah Flanders, who plan to continue the Chilmark Chocolate legacy and add their own personality to a new chocolate company that will be called Salt Rock Chocolate.
It won't be the same, but like all changes we're sure it will soon become our new normal.
We're sorry to see this Vineyard institution go but we thank you, Chilmark Chocolates, for all you have done for the island and especially for increasing our endophins during some of our most stressful times in real estate!