Mark and Kim LaPolla own the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops and the Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops. During the art workshops, Mark LaPolla, who is chef and pastry chef, decided to start making chocolates for his diners and then later for his inn guests. Chocolates were put in the room for the inn guests and served at dinner for the artists. And like his cooking, the unique and tasty gourmet chocolates were met with immediate applause and delight.
A friend and local restaurant owner asked if she could buy his chocolates to serve to their diners. Another friend and restaurateur suggested that Mark sell his chocolates to the wider public and open a store. With encouragement from local business owners and the local populace, Life by Chocolate was born.
The name Life by Chocolate was taken from a dessert that Mark created. Life by Chocolate is a layered, plated dessert, which has a tempered chocolate and puffed rice base on which medium ganache is piped in a circle and sweetened mascarpone is piped in the center, like a cake. Another disk of tempered chocolate and puffed rice is put on top. This is then topped with unsweetened whipped cream and a sugar basket filled with fresh seasonal berries.
When asked, "Aren't desserts like this normally called 'Death by Chocolate'. Shouldn't you call this Death by Chocolate." Mark responded, "No. 'Death by Chocolate' is the wrong attitude. This is Life by Chocolate."
The first hurdle to overcome was where to put the new chocolate shop and where to put the new chocolate factory. Mark and Kim decided to keep the chocolate shop and factory at the Greenville Arms. The facilities of the Greenville Arms were perfect for the chocolate factory. The next step was to buy a confection and chocolate case. Mark and Kim found a cabinet maker who could make custom finished, custom made chocolate cabinets that fit in perfectly with the Inn's Victorian decor and architecture.
All of the chocolates are handmade with local, organic or fair trade ingredients. Our philosophy here at Life by Chocolate is to buy local first, then organic, then fair trade and finally, the finest ingredients possible. Support your local economy and it'll support you.
Mark believes in creating unique chocolates and confections, while at the same time cherishing the traditional. So, you'll find everything from Traditional Torrone and Barks to Turkish Urfa Biber dark chocolates. And if you don't see it, you can always request it. Taste, quality and uniqueness.
As you read this, we are growing. People are ordering. Retailers are calling us and we are making some beautiful and unique chocolates. The sky's the limit.
And to make sure that sky stays blue, we are committed to a green earth. Not only does Life by Chocolate use fair trade chocolate and high quality local ingredients where and whenever possible but we also recycle, reuse and reduce our waste as much as possible, creating a greener world for our children. So, when you get a shipment in a recycled or reused packing box, you know that Life by Chocolate is working to keep our earth a fair place to live. Where and whenever possible, Life by Chocolate actively recycles and reuses. Help us help our environment.
To get more information about us or about our chocolates, to comment about the web site or just to talk, please feel free to contact us. That's our story. Now tell us yours at our on-line chocolate community, coming soon.