Niagara Gazette —
In January, Niagara's Honeymoon Sweets was named the official chocolate of Niagara Falls by decree of the city council. She also hand paints miniature dice and chocolate barrells for special events and high rollers at the Seneca Niagara Hotel and Casino. In 2011, her chocolate frames were was picked as best wedding favor on The Knot website and she also makes foil covered chocolate coins with the U.S. Navy logo on them for the Pentagon.
Every step forward delights her, including her most recent honor of being asked to contribute Niagara Falls chocolates to the new cafe at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.
“Niagara Honeymoon Sweets chocolate is some of the best around,” said Mark Mistriner, chair of the Business & Hospitality Division at Niagara County Community College, which opened the school recently on Old Falls Street. He wrote in an email about Niagara's Honeymoon Sweets, saying that “Their passion for chocolate and attention to detail made them a natural fit for LaPatisserie at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute."
Hess continues to imagine news ways to further her business, but sometimes her ideas take her in unexpected directions. During the excitement of Nik Wallenda's walk across the falls in June, Hess released a line of Daredevil Candybars which include images of a tightrope walker, Annie Edson Taylor and the boy who flew a kite across the river to begin the construction of the Exchange Bridge. A portion of the proceeds for the bars go to area charities including the Heart Love and Soul Food Pantry, Oakwood Cemetery and the Town of Niagara Lion's Club.
As a thank-you from Oakwood, Pete Ames looked up her family history and found that her great grandmother worked in the chocolate factory on Buffalo Avenue at 19, the same age that Hess started making her own chocolates, a fact that proved, she said, that candy making was in her blood. It was a sweet bit of history to note as she proceeds to make a little bit of history herself.
"We're bringing Niagara Falls to Washington," she said with a happy laugh. "And it's going to be so good, they're going to eat it up!"
Contact Features Editor Michele DeLuca at 282-2311, ext. 2263.