Barkeater Chocolates turns thirteen years old this month, making us an official teenager! Over the past decade and three years, we’ve made lots of mistakes that we’ve learned from, and also lots of great choices that got us where we are today. Regardless of all this, it’s our loyal customers we want to thank for supporting us through the years as we strive to bring you the best of what chocolate has to offer. In honor of thirteen great years located in the Adirondacks, read below our top fails and wins Barkeater has lived through (in no particular order)!
- WIN: The introduction of peanut butter cups with other ingredients. When Barkeater Chocolates started in 2008, we were strictly a truffle company. But within two years, we expanded our line and developed Grown Up Peanut Butter Cups in milk and later, dark chocolate. It stayed that way for years, as they tended to be some of our most popular chocolates! It wasn’t until 2018 that we added milk chocolate peanut butter cups with sea salt. Their success and deliciousness opened up a whole new door in terms of combining ingredients. This led to a huge brainstorm by our chocolatiers and Flavor Advisory Panel and, in 2020, we announced the release of three new peanut butter cups: dark chocolate with sea salt, 72% dark chocolate peanut butter cups with honey and dark chocolate peanut butter cups with toffee. Our variations have been wildly popular because the world needs really great peanut butter cups during a pandemic.
- LOSS: Our peanut butter cups with caramel. Speaking of peanut butter cups, there was one flavor that didn’t work out. In fact, it was one of our earlier chocolates and lasted 3 years. As delicious as peanut butter and caramel cups sound (and they were), we ended up discontinuing them in 2017. While some people lamented the loss, most customers didn’t even notice (though the writer of this article still dreams of them at night).
- WIN: Supplying our chocolate to bigger stores such as Hannaford and Market 32. The majority of our sales come from wholesale orders for businesses – most of which are local or family owned, like ourselves. However, when we picked up Market 32 (then Price Chopper) and later Hannaford, it boosted our wholesale by a significant amount, and made us more accessible to our fans!
- LOSS: Adding quinoa bars to our collection – only to have them leave a few years later. Another delicious chocolate that just didn’t go as planned, much like the caramel peanut butter cups, was our Quinoa Ka-Pow! Bars. Despite the trend in “superfoods,” and the amazing crunch effect, our fans still preferred our Downhill Darksider bar with sea salt over our Quinoa bars. After only three years, we replaced the bar with the much more popular Majestic Maple. Is your mouth watering yet?
- WIN: Buying our current shop at 3235 Route 28 in North Creek! In 2013, we decided to move out of Cafe Sarah’s building to create a bigger factory and factory store. We came across a residential home right off of Main Street, being sold by a family who had the house for generations. We renovated the garage and turned it into a factory to make our chocolate, the kitchen/mudroom area into a packaging and shipping room, and the rest of the downstairs into the store, which includes an experience room. The experience room and an exhibit room. The exhibit room is similar to a small chocolate museum with our very own informational video on the business and chocolate itself! As recently as 2018, we’ve renovated the store to make it more in tune with the Adirondacks and our business!
- LOSS (JUST KIDDING, WIN!): Buying a haunted shop at 3235 Route 28 in North Creek… Of course there’s a downside to every decision and ours came in the form of a ghost and mysterious past. Employees, customers and construction workers alike have experienced a number of paranormal instances leaving us to wonder if our shop is haunted. Multiple paranormal investigators (who determined that yes, the shop is haunted) have visited and another team is scheduled for June of 2021. The dark past of our building has turned into a fun historical romp through the centuries and sometimes, our ghosts will make themselves known to customers. We decided to lean into this discovery and have turned it into an attraction, where you can learn the details of our hauntings and the history, while also making your own chocolate ghosts to take home. You can schedule a haunted chocolate session online at barkeaterchocolates.com or over the phone at 518-251-4438.
- WIN: Deciding to start this business in the first place! We are so grateful for the many years of support from the community and our loyal customers. This business was started in 2008 in a basement and now we are thriving in upstate New York. Our goal is to make every experience with our chocolate a memorable one.
To celebrate and spread the Flavor Goodness around, we’re offering 13% off online orders if you use the coupon code LUCKY13 during checkout. This offer expires in May and is good on all products, except gift cards and experiences. Don’t forget to plug in the code when you shop!