Featured Business: Sweet Jenny's
Success is sweet for area chocolate store owners
Amherst chocolatiers Howard and Tara Cadmus had the opportunity to work with Jacques Torres, known as “Mr. Chocolate,” in New York City. The couple own Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat in Snyder and Sweet Jenny’s in Williamsville. Tara and Howard Cadmus did not expect chocolate to be a major part of their life plans.
But early in 2011, they made the leap into the world of chocolate, opening Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat in Snyder Square, and taking over Sweet Jenny’s, a Williamsville institution.
“It was a passion that we shared. It’s not about the income; it’s about the outcome,” said Howard Cadmus, who also has a law practice in Williamsville.
Both shops are going strong a year later, and the Cadmuses recently returned from the opportunity of a lifetime in New York City.
Through connections they’d forged in the business, they had the opportunity to work with renowned chocolatier and Food Network star Jacques Torres, known as Mr. Chocolate. They were also able to work with Florian Bellanger, chef and judge on the Food Network program “Cupcake Wars.”
The Cadmuses were extremely pleased that neither dessert titan had much advice regarding their chocolate-making technique and that they were received as equals by two well-known chocolatiers.
However, a piece of advice from Torres has shaped their goals for their businesses.
“His exact words were, ‘You need more space and more machinery,’” said Howard Cadmus. Currently, they produce all chocolate onsite at both stores. But after Torres’ advice, they are now trying to acquire a production facility.
“We like keeping production in the shops,” said Tara Cadmus. “There will always be production in the shops.”
Their production facility will also feature a shop but will have a large plate-glass window so customers can watch the chocolate being made. The Cadmuses intend to offer tours of the facility, too.
They are also planning to renovate Sweet Jenny’s. The renovations will allow for more seating and give the shop a more open feel.
The two are hoping to add outdoor seating at Oh Pour L'Amour du Chocolat but otherwise keep it going on an even keel. They sell handmade ice cream at both locations and offer tea and coffee from a local company, New Day, at Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat. Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat also carries macarons, a French sandwich cookie that has recently become trendy nationwide but is still a rarity locally.
Howard Cadmus says they were attracted to the chocolate business for the opportunity to interact with people and become a valued part of the community. Hanging on the walls of Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat are commendations from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Buffalo Zoo and Heritage Center for their assistance with various fundraisers. Recently, the Town of Amherst issued a proclamation lauding their charity work.
Howard Cadmus sees it as part of the store’s mission.
“Every community needs a chocolate shop,” he said. “In Western New York, it seems every community has one.” He added that chocolate shops are often considered the heart of their community, and he and Tara Cadmus are looking forward to continue fulfilling that role.
Oh Pour L’Amour du Chocolat is located at 4476 Main St. at Harlem Road. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Contact the Cadmuses at 240-9815 or visit www.ohpourlamourduchocolat.com.
Sweet Jenny’s is located at 5732 Main St. near Ellicott Street. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 631-2424.
by KATE MOCKLER Reporter