Granite State of Mind, #40: The Chocolatier, Exeter
Some of the businesses along the Water Street stretch of Exeter's downtown have come and gone, and some are longtime staples. The Chocolatier, thankfully, is among the durable mainstays. Founded in 1978, it's been around as long as I can remember, and that first step through the front door never gets old. Patrons are enveloped by the warm, delicious smells inside that tiny storefront - tiny, but bursting with a immense selection of handcrafted treats. The glass case has many of those confections familiar to aficionados of the boutique chocolate shop - barks, clusters, balls - as well as my mother's eternal favorite, specialty fudge. I think I must have gotten her a box every birthday and Christmas for decades.
But the fun of The Chocolatier extends beyond these well-trod (if delectable) regulars to a collection of unusual and creative offerings. Chocolates molded into lobsters, into pumpkins, into golf bags or hand tools or coffins. Chocolate-covered strawberries, cherries, cookie dough. Every visit promises something different and fun. I look forward to getting back and buying fudge for my mom, Valentine's candy for Sarah, crazy chocolate-shaped tractors or nutcrackers for the boys. And I look forward to that smell.