Making It In CNY: Local chocolate shop recognized nation-wide
It's a sweet story of success. From worker to owner, a young man is taking a chocolate made here in Central New York and putting it all over the country.
It all starts with the transformation of the smooth chocolate - All of the magic happens in the kitchen, but workers won't reveal any secrets.
"The smell is just overwhelming every morning and it never gets old," Kristin Stuart said.
It's a form of food art.
Masterpieces include chocolate, peanut butter and potato chips. They are called butter wings and are a best seller.
Out of all the items made and sold here, it's the sweet treat that the business is known for and where it gets it's name.
"The chocolate pizza company started as a small chocolate shop in Marcellus. There was three employees. I started wih mopping the floors and doing the dishes," owner Ryan Novak said.
Novak once had dreams of going to the NFL, but instead bought the business and expanded it.
He has tripled the workforce, not including seasonal help.
The Chocolate Pizza Company recently moved into its new Marcellus facility where they produce 250,000 pounds of chocolate each year. The product is then shipped out to all 50 states.
"I love the fact we get people on Twitter and Facebook say I was in a shop in Colorado and I saw the Chocolate Pizza and I know that's from our hometown," Novak said. "It's the highest quality chocolate you can get in the marketplace, so, we really view that and use the finest ingredients, so, it's just a good quality chocolate made by local people."
The busiest time of year for Novak is the Christmas season when over 20,000 chocolate pizzas will be sold.
He has pizza for all occasions. Other creations include chocolate covered Oreos.
Even the workers indulge once in a while. Kristin Stuart loves the camaraderie with her co-workers and knew the boss years ago. In fact, she used to babysit him.
At 26, he is one of the youngest business owners in the area. He is working 18 hours a day, gearing up for the busy season, the first time in its new location.
Even so, he knows it's a sweet gig.