WALLINGFORD — Sweet Cioccolata is expanding to a new location that will double its size and add more items to the shelves in time for Easter.
Lucky for its regular customers, the new location is only a few doors down in the plaza on North Colony Street which Sweet Cioccolata has called home for the last 17 years.
“We've been here in this location for 17 years and we're moving to a bigger location, so we're excited about that,” owner Racheal Ceste said.
The chocolate gift shop is currently in 28 North Colony St. It will move to 32 North Colony St., the former home of Cindy’s Unique Shop which moved across the street last month.
Ceste plans to move around March, or at least before Easter. She said the business will not have to close at all for the transition.
Ceste said they have wanted to expand for a few years, but really didn’t want to leave their spot and definitely didn’t want to leave Wallingford.
“I like the people, it's like home to me, I know what my customers are like,” Ceste said.
The new location will double its current size, allowing for new machines and room for some new creations.
“We're going to do more gluten-free (and) start going into sugar-free,” Ceste said.
Tiffany Cruz, owner of Anna V. Salon in Wallingford, said her salon was on North Colony for almost 10 years, before moving to Center St.
Most of those years were spent in the spot next to Sweet Cioccolata, where she said Ceste would sometimes bring in samples that clients would “go crazy for.”
“We are so excited that she will be expanding and can offer even more amazing choices,” Cruz said.
Cruz said she knows Ceste works around the clock to make her recipes perfect, and the same goes for the new ones coming in gluten-free and sugar-free.
The shop currently sells a selection of chocolate and or caramel covered cookies, pretzels, apples and more; chocolate bark with different toppings; and dessert platters.
Sweet Cioccolata opened in 2003, after a few years as a home business that Ceste started with her family.
“She had the idea of opening a boutique, but that's clothing, so she took that concept and she decided to make a chocolate gift shop,” husband Mario Ceste said.
When they started the business, it only took orders holidays and had a limited offering— mainly covered apples, pretzels, and Oreos.
“I was uncertain. You just never know when you open up a new business, but I got a good feeling from the beginning,” Racheal Ceste said.
Mario Ceste said the business caught on fast and people in town were very supportive. Over the years Rachael Ceste said they worked on getting the chocolate just right.
“The business has been heavily built by word of mouth,” Mario Ceste said.
Cruz said that when her salon first opened, she could tell clients it was next door to Sweet Cioccolata and they would know exactly where to go because of Sweet Cioccolata’s following.
“Not only is Rachael the sweetest, most genuine person but her hard work and efforts of providing amazing chocolate have made her business grow immensely over the years,” Cruz said.