NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

May 15, 2014

Trail of treats

Chocolate Tour satisfies cravings, raises money for charity

There will be sweet temptations at every turn when the Newburyport Chocolate Tour takes over the city on Saturday afternoon.

With 29 stores participating, the 11th annual event will be the largest one yet. In addition to all kinds of candy creations, participants can look forward to everything from brownies, cupcakes and chocolate-covered marshmallows to ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt.

Central Congregational Church, in its second year of hosting the tour, will divide all of the proceeds equally between Council on Aging prescription refill programs in Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury; the Greater Newbury Elder Pet Fund, which helps seniors afford pet care; and the American Red Cross, which used to run the event.

“It grows and grows every year,” said Diane Gronbeck, co-owner of Brass Lyon and a member of the organizing committee. “I’m looking forward to a fun day in downtown Newburyport having fun and eating chocolate.”

Gronbeck was busy early this week filling tiny bags with Hershey’s candy — “kisses of silver and gold” — that will be distributed at her Market Square store.

The walk starts at the First Religious Society on Pleasant Street, where tour-goers can pick up goody bags to store treats for later. From there, they are welcome to travel at their own pace to locations along Pleasant, State, Inn, Liberty and Middle streets and at The Tannery Marketplace.

A popular stop on past tours has been Chococoa Baking Co., which will once again offer its signature item, The Whoopie. Guests will be able to sample salted caramel, espresso, coconut and vanilla flavors, along with new, gluten-free versions, according to co-owner Julie Ganong.

But the chocolate won’t be limited to just edible offerings this year. BC Essentials, an aromatherapy shop joining the tour for the first time, plans to give out product samples.

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