There are lots of people who have been involved with the iconic Li-Lac Chocolates in New York and all have held on to the traditions of making fine chocolates by hands. The story of Li-Lac Chocolates begins in 1923 when George Demetrious moved to NYC. Originally from Greece, Demetrious had studied the art of chocolate making in France and decided to open up a shop on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.
After he passed away in 1972, Demetrious had entrusted his recipes and business to an employee of 25 years, Marguerite Watt. She continued the business for a few years but then sold it to a regular customer named Edward Bond.
Bond had used Li-Lac as a supplier for his catering business. The long relationship ensured Marguerite that Edward was the right person to keep the quality and tradition of Li-Lac alive. Soon Edward's sister Martha joined the company and she ran it until 2009 when she retired and left the business to Anthony Cirone and Christopher Taylor, two passionate long-time customers who now own the business along with their master chocolatier, Anwar Khoder. They have managed to keep the traditions and small batch commitment alive.
Li-Lac is actually Manhattan's oldest chocolate house and it's still going strong today. They have held tight to the old-world artisan chocolate making that have made them so well-loved.
The small batch chocolates, which come in varieties like white, milk, dark, and extra-dark, are all made by hand without any trendy ingredients and mass production. These traditional methods include using large marble-top tables and copper kettles and having a team of dippers and packers who give special care to each box of chocolate. The Wall Street Journal even called the company "stubbornly old fashioned" in 2011.
They produce beautiful seasonal chocolate molds, like turkeys for Thanksgiving and dreidels for Hanukkah. You can also pick up a box of chocolate squares or almond bark. Or their most popular (and addicting) item: chocolate butter crunch.
Now with five stores in New York including the original (in a different location) on Bleecker Street and the second location at Grand Central Market, they are more popular than ever. For us, the most exciting of these stores is the Brooklyn Factory in Industry City. Of course, we bring groups by on our Made in New York tour for samples and to watch some of the chocolate making process.
On our Industry City tour, we focus on how the old world and modern world are coming together to support local artisans and manufacturing. That is very evident at Li-Lac's where they keep that attention to detail and handmade tradition alive using the same recipes and techniques for almost 100 years.
Li-Lac Chocolates Brooklyn Factory/Store
68 35th Street,
Brooklyn NY 11232